Obama praises new saints — Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

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President Obama Monday hailed the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II as saints who “shaped not only the Catholic Church but the world.”

“We celebrate these saints and the leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis, and we look forward to continuing to work with Pope Francis and Catholics around the world to advance peace and justice for all people,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: John Paul II and John XXIII declared saints

Pope Francis canonized the saints Sunday in a ceremony in Rome.

The president praised John XXIII for his “powerful roles for the Church in the cause of global peace and justice” and for convening the Second Vatican Council.

He lauded John Paul II for helping to inspire the Solidarity anti-communism movement and for speaking out against apartheid in South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda.

“He had a special rapport with young people, drawing many of them to the church’s work and teachings,” Mr. Obama said.

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