Czech pilgrims to attend canonization of popes John XXII and John Paul II

Thousands of pilgrims from the Czech Republic and Poland will go to the Vatican to attend the canonisation of two former popes, John XXII and John Paul II, on April 27, Pavel Dokládal, head of the pilgrim centre of the bishopric in Hradec Králové, east Bohemia, told the ctk news agency. The event will be attended by leading Czech Catholic Church dignitaries: Cardinal Dominik Duka, Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner and Hradec Králové Bishop Jan Vokál. John Paul II, who was of Polish origin, became pope in 1978, when the communist rule in eastern Europe was peaking. His steadfast views, openness and charisma won him many admirers in the Czech Republic which he visited three times during his pontificate.