Reaching out to John Paul II
Millions of pilgrims and world leaders are descending on Rome to pay their last respects to the late pope.
While his papacy was not without controversy, cardinals have praised him as "John Paul the Great" and there is already talk of his beatification, the first step towards sainthood.
While Vatican officials prepare to bury the last pontiff, the search for the new one is getting started: Cardinals will meet on April 18 to begin the election process.
Read about John Paul II's passing and the Catholic Church's future in this DW-WORLD dossier.