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Where Late Pope Benedict Will Lie in State

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St Peter’s Basilica will house the body of the former leader of the Catholic Church for three days to allow many to offer their final goodbyes.

The German philosopher, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 95, presided over the Catholic Church for eight years before making history as the first pope in six centuries to step down in 2013.

On Thursday, his successor, Pope Francis, will preside over the funeral before his remains are interred in the tombs beneath St Peter’s Basilica.

Benedict passed away at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where he had lived for the past decade, in the Vatican gardens.

His remains will be carried to the basilica early on Monday, where the faithful can say their final goodbyes for three days during the day.

The Vatican published images of his corpse on a catafalque in the abbey church on Sunday. He was draped in red papal mourning garments and had a gold-edged mitre on his head.

The peculiar situation of Francis and Benedict being the two “men in white” at the Vatican resulted from Benedict’s shocking resignation.

Benedict’s funeral will make history as well.

Papal death usually calls for a conclave of cardinals to elect a successor, but with Francis still holding his post, there will be no conclave to elect a successor and he will lead the proceedings.

The Vatican has stated that Benedict’s burial will be “solemn but simple” and mentioned that the late pope will be buried in the papal tombs under St Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican also has yet to provide enough details of the guest list, beyond saying that it will include delegations from Italy and Germany, Benedict’s country of origin.

Benedict was considered a brilliant theologian as he alienated many Catholics with his stalwart defence of traditional values and tried to impose his authority on the church as it battled a series of issues, including clerical sex abuse.

 

 

 

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