Millions Gather in Rome for Papal Funeral

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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Royalty, political power brokers and multitudes of the faithful will pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II on Friday at a funeral promising to be one of the largest Western religious gatherings of modern times.

Throngs of pilgrims – an estimated 2 million since the pope’s body went on public view Monday – had filed past the pope’s bier in St. Peter’s Basilica before its towering bronze doors were closed late Thursday. Some 4 million people have flooded into the Italian capital to be nearer the pope before his funeral and burial in the Vatican grotto Friday.

Coverage on all the major networks begins at 4:00AM Eastern/1:00AM Pacific, so TiVo might be your best bet. The funeral promises to be one of the most widely viewed events in the history.

Reporter Recalls Moments on Papal Travels [AP]

Text of the Homily at Pope’s Funeral [AP]

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