The funeral chapel of Benedict XVI opens for the second day pending the funeral

The funeral chapel of Benedict XVI opens for the second day pending the funeral

The funeral chapel of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died last Saturday at the age of 95, opened today for the second day after 65,000 people were able to say their last goodbye to the pontiff this Monday and await the funeral to be held next Thursday.

Since the early hours of the morning, thousands of faithful have already been waiting at the gates of Saint Peter’s Square to be able to enter the Vatican Basilica to bid farewell to Joseph Ratzinger, who in 2013 was the first pontiff to resign in the last six centuries, and whose remains are found on a golden cloth catafalque at the foot of the Confession Altar and Bernini’s canopy, on the place where, according to tradition, Saint Peter was buried.

A few minutes after 7:00 a.m. (6:00 GMT) the doors of Saint Peter’s Basilica opened and several hundred faithful who had been waiting for more than two hours were able to enter the funeral chapel, which today will be open until 7:00 p.m. (18:00 GMT). ).

The last day of the funeral chapel will be tomorrow, while Francisco will hold the general audience in the nearby Paul VI hall, since none of the activities of the Argentine pontiff have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the funeral is being prepared that will be presided over by Francisco in the unprecedented circumstance of a pope celebrating the obsequies of another pope. Although due to Jorge Bergoglio’s mobility problems it is likely that he will concelebrate with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.

It will not be a state funeral, as it is not a “reigning” pontiff, although it will have official delegations from Italy and Ratzinger’s native Germany, and other authorities may attend but must do so in their personal capacity.

Nothing has yet been confirmed about the rite of the liturgy, which may have some variations due to the “emeritus” status of Benedict XVI, but some sources say that Francis’s will is to pay homage to his predecessor with all the honors, as well that it is probable that, for example, the coffin with the remains of Joseph Ratzinger goes through the Door of Death, one of the five doors of the Basilica of San Pedro that is used for the coffins of the popes to pass through.

The emeritus queen of Spain, Sofía, and the Spanish Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, as well as the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, have already confirmed their presence; the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and King Felipe of Belgium.

Afterwards, the body of Benedict XVI will be buried in the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica, where many other pontiffs from the thousand-year history of the Catholic Church rest.

The tomb chosen by himself has been the one that housed the remains of John Paul II, empty since his body was transferred to a chapel in Saint Peter’s Basilica on the occasion of his beatification in May 2011.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.