Pope Francis has simplified the funeral ceremony, he does not want to expose his body

Pope Francis has simplified the funeral ceremony, he does not want to expose his body
Pope Francis has simplified the funeral ceremony, he does not want to expose his body
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Pope Francis has simplified the ceremony observed at the funerals of popes. Spanish journalist Javier Martínez-Brocal wrote this in a new book of interviews with Pope Francis, ANSA reported. For example, the Pope does not want to have his body exposed on the catafalque in front of the faithful after death, as was the custom for a long time.

“It was the last funeral that took place in this way, with the body exposed on the hearse outside the coffin,” the pope said of the funeral of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.He confirmed that he wanted to be buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, located in Rome, but has an extraterritorial status and belongs to the Vatican. “They confirmed to me that everything is ready,” the Pope said of the place where he wants to be buried. Popes are usually buried in the so-called Vatican caves, which are located under St. Peter’s Cathedral.

The last “full-fledged” papal funeral took place in 2005, when Pope John Paul II died. In the case of Benedict XVI, who died on the last day of 2022, the funeral rites were different because he was Pope Emeritus. For example, the entire part of the ceremony related to the transition of power was dropped. Nine-day mourning was not even announced.

In an interview with a Spanish journalist, Francis added that he had many other changes made to the ceremony after the death. According to him, the funeral rites were too pompous. However, the head of the Catholic Church was not more specific. The posthumous rites are usually opened by the Cardinal of the Chamber, who strikes the deceased Pope’s head three times with a gavel and addresses him by name. If the Pope does not respond, he is declared dead and his papal ring is broken. After the funeral, a conclave will be held where cardinals under the age of 80 will elect a new head of the Catholic Church.

The article is in Czech

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