There is much more to the three-day official mourning India has ordered for Pope John Paul II than the fact that this country's most powerful politician, Sonia Gandhi is both a Roman and a Catholic by birth.
Leading European Union officials have paid tribute to Pope John Paul II, highlighting his role in helping to reunify a divided Europe after communism.
"Ma, Chi è? (Who is He?)" That was the question on the minds of many at St. Peter's Square on a balmy autumn evening on Oct. 16, 1978 when Cardinal Pericle Felici announced: "Habemus Papam (We have a Pope).."
As Father Paul Nettham, pastor of the Thai capital's Holy Redeemer Church prepares his congregation at Sunday mass for holy communion, he tells the packed church in a somber voice: ''For our beloved Pope John Paul II, who's passed from this life to an everlasting one...Lord have mercy.''
Mexico became the capital of mourning in Latin America over the death of Pope John Paul II Saturday, while governments in the region - home to almost half the world’s Catholics – expressed their condolences, regardless of their political bent.
Even as Roman Catholics around the world mourn the death of Pope John Paul II, the attention of many is turning to the future - and the question of who will succeed the Polish cleric as Bishop of Rome.
Karol Josef Wojtyla was a theatre lover and budding actor in his youth in Poland. He never quite made it as an actor, but since 1978 when he became Pope, the world became his stage.
Observers both inside and outside the Catholic Church believe there are numerous cardinals in Latin America and the Caribbean with sufficient merits to succeed Pope John Paul II, and although they feel such a scenario to be unlikely, they are not completely ruling out a surprise choice.
With the 84-year-old Pope John Paul II barely able to move freely or speak coherently, attention has shifted to how long his 26-year reign, the fourth longest in history so far, could last. And, consequently, to his successor among the 'papabili' ('pope-ables')..
Pope John Paul II has overcome yet another crisis, this time after a trachea operation to aid breathing. His health gets worse by the day, but he remains the Pope.
For the past decade Deepak Chopra has been at the forefront of a major trend in holistic healing, combining ancient wisdom and modern science. The widely celebrated New Age guru talks with IPS about Pope John Paul II, arguably one of the most significant figures of the 20th century.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Catholics are praying, and in many cases weeping, for the health of Pope John Paul II, amidst a flurry of speculation about which bishops from this region have a chance to succeed him if he dies.
On the eve of his 77th birthday and official retirement from duty, Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga, one of the foremost exponents of Liberation Theology, remains as outspoken a critic of the Catholic Church establishment as ever.
Tension is simmering between Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities after allegations of forced conversions to Islam.
For the Catholic church hierarchy in the Vatican, Latin America has changed from the "Continent of Hope" to the continent of concern, as followers are leaving the church in such large numbers that it could lead to the collapse of Catholicism within a decade and a half.
A group of Catholic theologians in Spain have criticised the local Church leadership for lashing out against the legislative reforms promoted by the socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which include measures that would reduce the financing that the Church receives from the state.
While the successful penetration by suicide bombers, who killed 10 people, including four U.S. nationals, of the carefully guarded ''Green Zone'' in downtown Baghdad grabbed headlines here this week, another measure of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq came from a more surprising source.
The Catholic Church will always be hierarchical, will continue to keep women out of the priesthood, and will never accept marriage between homosexuals, said bishops from around the world meeting in Mexico.
Twenty-five years ago the world was taken by surprise by the triumph of the leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza after nearly two decades of armed struggle.
Even after 87 years the question marks surrounding Fátima remain. Was it the Virgin Mary who appeared before the astonished eyes of three young Portuguese shepherds, as the Roman Catholic Church claims? Or was it a tall, blond Englishwoman, whose fair traits had never been in those isolated rural parts, as the non-believers maintain?
The Catholic Church hierarchy in Latin America is riding the success of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' to promote a conservative religious agenda, while it scorns 'The Da Vinci Code', a best-seller based on a fictional storyline involving centuries- old plots by the Vatican.