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Tags: pope benedict | funeral | italy | germany | delegations

Italy, Germany Only State Delegations at Benedict's Funeral

By    |   Monday, 02 January 2023 10:45 AM EST

Italy and Germany will form the only state delegations that will attend the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Vatican press office said.

Benedict, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was born in Marktl, Germany, and lived in Italy for more than 40 years.

The Holy See Press Office confirmed that the two countries were sending official representatives to Thursday's funeral, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported Monday.

A Vatican spokesman also confirmed that Benedict will be interred in the Vatican crypt where Pope John Paul II was buried before his beatification.

Despite only two official delegations being invited to Benedict's funeral, any public figure can attend the event in a personal capacity, CNA said.

CNA reported that 159 delegations attended the 2005 funeral of John Paul, the last reigning Pontiff to die. Also, 157 cardinals, 700 archbishops, and more than 6,000 journalists, photographers, and other media personnel attended.

Italy President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni paid their respects to Benedict on Monday morning at St. Peter's Basilica, where his body will lie in state through Wednesday.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will attend Benedict's funeral in an official capacity, Der Spiegel reported.

Although the deaths of reigning Popes have provided a well-known set of rituals, the death of a Pope emeritus presented a unique situation.

Benedict will be buried in the papal red, but his body was not adorned with the red shoes he wore as Pope. They were replaced by black shoes.

The funeral of a reigning Pope always is attended by many cardinals, who must travel to Rome to attend the conclave, which elects the new Pope. It was not known how many cardinals will attend Benedict's funeral.

The coffin of Benedict, who died at the age of 95, will be carried to the crypt under the central part of St. Peter's Basilica for interment.

St. John Paul II's casket was moved to the upper part of the basilica in April 2011, a few days before his beatification ceremony.

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Italy and Germany will form the only state delegations that will attend the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Vatican press office said.
pope benedict, funeral, italy, germany, delegations
331
2023-45-02
Monday, 02 January 2023 10:45 AM
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