Jan 02, 2023

By Steve Kee

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s body is lying in state as thousands of people lined up across St. Peter’s Square hours before dawn today to pay their respects.

The first pontiff to resign in 600 years due to his failing health is now lying in state inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

The doors of St. Peter’s Basilica opened for viewing by the public at just past 3 a.m. EST when the first faithful entered.

Public viewing lasts for 10 hours on Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica.  25 thousand people are expected to file passed the Pope’s coffin.

Twelve hours of viewing are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday’s funeral will be led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.

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