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FM Kasoulides to attend Pope Benedict’s funeral

faithful pay respects to former pope benedict in st. peter's basilica, at the vatican
The body of former Pope Benedict lies in state at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides will attend the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on Thursday, to represent President Nicos Anastasiades.

Kasoulides will leave for Rome on Wednesday morning, and will attend the funeral at St Peter’s Basilica at the Holy See on Thursday morning.

He will return the same evening.

For the last two days, tens of thousands of people filed into St Peter’s Basilica to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict XVI, whose body was laying in state ahead of his funeral.

Benedict, a hero to conservative Catholics who yearned for a return to a more traditional Church, died on Saturday at the age of 95 in the secluded Vatican monastery where he had lived since 2013, when he became the first pope in 600 years to resign.

Vatican police said that 65,000 people had filed past on the first day.

Benedict’s body, dressed in red and gold liturgical vestments and placed on a simple dais, was moved in a procession just before dawn through the Vatican Gardens from the monastery to a spot in front of the main altar of Christendom’s largest Church.

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