People from all over the world show Benedict XVI last

People from all over the world show Benedict XVI. last tribute

On the second day of the departure of the Emeritus Pope, a long line of people formed in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. Up to 70,000 people are expected at the funeral service on Thursday.

Kings, nobles, heads of state and clergy from around the world will attend Benedict XVI’s funeral. scheduled for Thursday at the Vatican, which will be celebrated by the current Pope Francis. So far, the Italian delegation, headed by President Sergio Mattarella, and the German delegation have officially announced their participation.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder come from Germany, according to the Vatican. Rumor has it that King Philippe of Belgium and the former Queen Sofia of Spain will also attend the funeral, accompanied by a group of Spanish prelates led by Cardinal Chief of the Episcopate Juan José Omella.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda are also expected, as well as a delegation from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople. As official representatives of the Church in Austria, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and the Archbishop of Salzburg, Franz Lackner, will participate in the funeral ceremonies as president of the Episcopal Conference.

Unprecedented mourning ceremony

Benedict XVI’s funeral is considered unprecedented in Church history. For the first time, a pope celebrates the mourning ceremony for a predecessor. Protocol experts are still working on the rite’s liturgy, and Francis will have the final say. The Dean of the College of Cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re, or the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, will likely stand next to the pope, who will likely remain seated during the funeral ceremony because of his knee problems.

Unlike the funeral of a sitting pope, the nine-day period of mourning, which bears the Latin name “Novemdiales”, is omitted at Benedict’s funeral. Normally, after the death of a pope, cardinals must also elect his successor. That does not apply to the case of Benedict XVI, who on February 11, 2013, became the first pope in more than six centuries to resign, making room for his successor, Francis. It remains unclear whether the traditional white silk cloth is placed over the deceased’s face when closing the coffin, as is customary at papal funerals.

According to Vatican rules, a pope must be buried four to six days after his death. The retired pope wanted a burial in the former tomb of his predecessor, John Paul II, in St. Peter’s Basilica. After John Paul II’s beatification in 2011, his body was reburied in a chapel in the aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Also on the second day, long queues in front of St. Peter’s Basilica

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the body of Joseph Ratzinger, dressed in the red miter and liturgical mantle and holding a rosary, will be exposed to the faithful’s farewell. Also on the second day of Benedict XVI’s farewell. A long line of people formed outside the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Tuesday to pay their last respects to the former head of the Catholic Church. On the first day of the project, the Vatican recorded 65,000 visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica.

In an interview with the Milan daily “Corriere della Sera” (Tuesday edition), Schönborn explained that Joseph Ratzinger was a “doctor of the Church, a father of the Church” who could be compared to St. Augustine. “I had the joy of being his student along with many others, and he was not only a highly talented teacher with the gift of clarity, but a true master, both in written texts and in the living word. I have learned so much from him, and I think his ability to teach, to transmit the faith and to reflect on the faith almost makes him a father of the Church”, says Schönborn.

“Ratzinger will be one of the great figures to be remembered for centuries to come. We will remember Joseph Ratzinger in the 20th century as much as we remember John Henry Newman in the 19th century, or Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure of Bagnoregio in the 13th century”, explained the Viennese cardinal .