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Emotional funeral for Pope John Paul II

mango Goldie

Joined: 08 December 2004
Posts: 9229

Posted: 08 April 2005 at 5:50pm | IP Logged
Emotional funeral for Pope John Paul II
Victor L. Simpson
Canadian Press

April 8, 2005

CREDIT: Associated Press
Cardinal Ratzinger watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Pope John Paul II.

VATICAN CITY -- Presidents, prime ministers and kings joined pilgrims and prelates in St. Peter's Square on Friday to bid farewell to Pope John Paul at a funeral service that drew millions to Rome for one of the largest religious gatherings of modern times.

Applause rang out in the wind-whipped square as John Paul's simple wooden coffin adorned with a cross and an "M" for Mary was brought out from the basilica and placed in front of the altar for the mass. Bells tolled and the crowd applauded again when it was carried back inside for burial.

Dignitaries from more than 80 countries who had gathered in Rome for the mass all stood as the white-gloved pallbearers carried the coffin on their shoulders through the central portal of the basilica.

The Vatican's Sistine Choir sang the Gregorian chant Grant him eternal rest, O Lord, as the service got underway. Cardinals wearing white mitres, the tall headwear of bishops, walked onto the square, their red vestments blowing in the breeze.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals and a close confidant of John Paul, presided at the mass, referring to the pontiff as our "late beloved Pope" in a homily that traced John Paul's life from his days as a factory worker in Nazi-occupied Poland to the last days of his life as the head of the world's one billion Catholics.

Interrupted by applause at least 10 times, the usually unflappable German-born Ratzinger choked up as he recalled one of John Paul's last public appearances -- when he blessed the faithful from his studio window on Easter.

"We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees us and blesses us," he said to applause, even among the prelates, as he pointed up to the third-floor window above the square.

"Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality -- our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude," Ratzinger said in heavily accented Italian.

He said John Paul was a "priest to the last" and had offered his life for God and his flock "especially amid the sufferings of his final months."

At the beginning of the mass, Ratzinger prayed for God to "grant your servant and our Pope, John Paul II, who in the love of Christ led your church, to share with the flock entrusted to him the reward promised to the faithful ministers of the Gospel."

After the 2 1/2-hour mass, the body was to be carried deep under the basilica to join the remains of popes from throughout the ages near the traditional tomb of the apostle Peter, the first pope.

John Paul requested in his last will and testament to be buried "in the bare earth," and his body will be laid to rest under the floor of the grotto below the basilica. His tomb will be covered with a flat stone bearing his name and the dates of his birth and death. Pilgrims will eventually be able to visit.

At least 300,000 people filled St. Peter's Square and spilled out onto the wide Via della Conciliazione leading toward the Tiber River, but millions of others watched on giant video screens set up across Rome.

Earlier, groggy pilgrims who had camped out on the cobblestones awoke in their sleeping bags to hordes of the faithful stepping over them as they tried to secure a good spot to view the mass.

The square and the boulevard leading to it were a sea of red-and-white flags waved by pilgrims from John Paul's beloved Poland, many in traditional dress shouting "Polska! Polska!" Pilgrims from other countries raised their national flags in the crowd, and prayers were read out during the mass in a host of languages.

"We just wanted to say goodbye to our father for the last time," said Joanna Zmijewsla, 24, who travelled for 30 hours with her brother from a town near Kielce, Poland, arriving at St. Peter's at 1 a.m. local time Friday.

American Archbishop James Harvey, head of papal protocol, greeted dignitaries and religious leaders as they emerged onto the steps of the basilica. Many shook Harvey's hand and offered condolences before mingling and taking their appointed seats.

Turbans, fezzes, yarmulkes and black lace mantillas joined the skull caps of Catholic prelates in an extraordinary mix of religious and government leaders from around the world.

Bells tolled as the leaders, including Prime Minister Paul Martin, took their places on red-cushioned wooden seats. Ten minutes before the scheduled start of the funeral, the U.S. delegation arrived, headed by President George W. Bush and including his father, former president George H.W. Bush, and former president Bill Clinton.

Rome itself was at a standstill. Just after midnight Thursday, a ban took effect on vehicle traffic in the city centre. Airspace was closed, and anti-aircraft batteries outside the city were on alert. Naval ships patrolled both the Mediterranean coast and the Tiber River near Vatican City, the tiny sovereign city-state encompassed by the Italian capital.

Italian authorities took extraordinary precautions to protect the royalty and heads of state or government attending the funeral.

Elite Carabinieri paramilitary police armed with automatic rifles were stationed at virtually every major intersection in Rome to minimize the threat of a terrorist attack on the more than 80 heads of state and monarchs attending the mass.

Combat jets from Italy's air force, joined by an AWACS surveillance plane deployed by NATO, guarded against any strike from above on the leaders and top Roman Catholic prelates assembled on St. Peter's Square. Italian security agencies posted snipers on rooftops, and a navy warship armed with torpedoes cruised the coastline near Rome.
Anti-aircraft rocket launchers were placed strategically around the capital.

Jewish and Muslim leaders were among the dignitaries from more than 80 countries, including the presidents of Syria and Iran, and the king of Jordan.

The Pope's death on Saturday at age 84 elicited a remarkable outpouring of affection around the world and brought an estimated four million people to Rome, doubling its population.


mango Goldie

Joined: 08 December 2004
Posts: 9229

Posted: 08 April 2005 at 5:51pm | IP Logged
A chronology of events in the life of Pope John Paul: May 18, 1920:
Born Karol Joseph Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland. June 20, 1920:
Baptized by P. Franciszek Zak, a military chaplain. Sept. 15, 1926:
Starts elementary school for boys. April 13, 1929:
His mother dies. June 1930:
Admitted to Marcin Wadowita, state secondary school for boys. Dec. 5, 1932:
His brother Edmund dies. 1934-1938:
Performs in student theatre in Wadowice. May 1938:
Receives the sacrament of confirmation. June 22, 1938:
Enrols in the philosophy faculty at Jagiellonian University, Krakow. July 1939:
Attends university military training for Polish and Ukrainian students. Nov. 1, 1940:
Earns a living as a stone cutter in a quarry near Krakow, forestalling deportation and imprisonment. October 1942:
Begins clandestine studies for the priesthood in Krakow's underground seminary; registers in the theology faculty at Jagiellonian University. August 1943:
Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha transfers him and other clandestine seminarians to the archbishop's residence. He remains there until the end of the war. Nov. 1, 1946:
Ordained a priest. Nov. 2, 1946:
Celebrates his first mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel, Poland. Nov. 15, 1946:
Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome. July 8, 1948:
Sent as assistant pastor to Niegowic near Gdow, Poland. August 1949:
Recalled to Krakow to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's. July 4, 1958:
Appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow. Sept. 28, 1958:
Ordained bishop in Wavel Cathedral. October-December 1962:
Participates in the first session of the Second Vatican Council. October-December 1963:
Participates in the second session of the Second Vatican Council. March 8, 1964:
Installed as metropolitan bishop of Krakow. September-November 1964:
Participates in the third session of the Second Vatican Council. September-December 1965:
Participates in fourth session and closing of the Second Vatican Council. June 28, 1967:
Consecrated cardinal in the Sistine Chapel by Pope Paul VI. July-August 1969:
Tours Canada. July 23-Sept. 5, 1976:
Visits the United States and Canada. Aug. 11-12, 1978:
Attends funeral of Pope Paul VI. Oct. 3-4, 1978:
Attends funeral of Pope John Paul I. Oct. 16, 1978:
Elected Pope by cardinals. He is the first Polish pope ever and the first non-Italian one in 455 years. Jan. 25, 1979:
First trip abroad as Pope, to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bahamas. June 2, 1979:
First trip back to Poland as Pope. Sept. 29, 1979:
Travels to Ireland and United States. May 13, 1981:
Shot in abdomen by Turkish extremist in St. Peter's Square. Sept. 9-20, 1984:
First papal visit to Canada. April 13, 1986:
Makes historic visit to Rome's main synagogue. Sept. 20, 1987:
Makes a five-hour visit to Fort Simpson, N.W.T., during a U.S. trip to honour a promise he made when his 1984 visit to the hamlet was cancelled by fog. Dec. 1, 1989:
Meets with Mikhail Gorbachev at Vatican, first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief. Establishes diplomatic ties between Vatican and Russia. May 1, 1991:
Issues first encyclical on social issues since the fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning the rich against exploiting the poor. July 15, 1992:
Operation for benign tumour on colon. Oct. 31, 1992:
Formally declares the church erred in condemning Galileo. Oct. 5, 1993:
Issues encyclical Splendour of Truth, major statement defending absolute morals against liberal theologians. Nov. 11, 1993:
Dislocates right shoulder in fall down steps at Vatican event, requiring surgery. Dec. 30, 1993:
Agreement signed establishing formal ties between Vatican and Israel. April 29, 1994:
Breaks leg in fall and undergoes hip replacement surgery. Oct. 19, 1994:
His book, Beyond the Threshold of Hope, is published. Oct. 8, 1996:
Surgery to remove appendix. March 1, 1999:
Vatican confirms that the Pope has waived the five-year waiting period and begun beatification process for Mother Teresa. March 20-26, 2000:
Makes first trip as Pope to Holy Land, expresses sorrow for suffering of Jews at Christian hands in note left at Jerusalem's Western Wall. Sept. 11, 2001:
Condemns ''unspeakable horror'' of Sept. 11 attacks. April 23, 2002:
Meets with U.S. cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal; says there is no place in priesthood for clerics who abuse young. July 23-29, 2002:
Visits Toronto to preside over World Youth Day, a gathering of hundreds of thousands of Catholics from around the world. Feb. 14, 2003:
Receives Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz on eve of war. June 5-9, 2003:
Makes 100th foreign trip, visiting Croatia. July 31, 2003:
Vatican launches global campaign against gay marriages. Feb. 1, 2005:
Pope urgently hospitalized with breathing problems. Feb. 10, 2005:
Discharged from hospital. Feb. 23, 2005:
His fifth book, Memory and Identity, is released in Italy. Feb. 24, 2005:
Rushed back to hospital with flu-like symptoms, undergoes operation to insert a tube in his throat to relieve breathing problems. March 13, 2005:
Discharged from hospital, hours after his first public appearance since Feb. 24. March 27, 2005:
Appears in public on Easter. Tries to speak but fails. March 30, 2005:
Vatican says a feeding tube has been inserted in John Paul's nose to help him recover his strength.

April 2, 2005:
Pope John Paul II dies at 9:37 p.m. Rome time.

rabeeak2003 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 26 August 2004
Posts: 3898

Posted: 08 April 2005 at 5:52pm | IP Logged

Thanks for the info manjot di.

I saw some of the funeral in the morning when I was getting ready for school.

Very sad.Cry

May his soul rest in peace.

popkurn IF-Rockerz

Joined: 01 December 2004
Posts: 5186

Posted: 08 April 2005 at 6:03pm | IP Logged

Thank you, for the information

May he rest in peace

samie IF-Rockerz

Joined: 22 November 2004
Posts: 5453

Posted: 08 April 2005 at 6:23pm | IP Logged
thanx 4 the info i w@ ched all the funeral as nothin else was on tv it was so sad may he rest in peace
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