Tens of Thousands to Pay Respects to Late Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican Funeral

Death of former pope benedict xvi has prompted an outpouring of tributes from around the world. tens of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects when his lying in state begins at the vatican later. pope francis will preside over thursday’s funeral, the first time a pope will be buried by his successor. the funeral will take place in st peter’s square, before the pope emeritus is laid to rest in the tombs beneath the basilica.

Lying in state began on sunday, with the vatican releasing pictures of the body dressed in red papal mourning robes and wearing a gold-trimmed mitre. the funeral will take place on thursday, and is expected to draw crowds of thousands. pope benedict asked that the funeral be marked by simplicity, according to vatican spokesman matteo bruni.

Guest list for the funeral has not been released, but the vatican has said that it will include delegations from italy and benedict’s native germany. tributes have poured in from around the world, with us president joe biden lauding the former pope’s “lifetime of devotion to the church” and brazilian president luiz inácio lula da silva wishing “comfort to the faithful and admirers of the holy father”. pope benedict was a controversial figure, and his body will be displayed for three days in an open casket at st peter’s basilica.


By Evey Lovelace

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