Funeral Services Honor Pope

4-8-05 - VATICAN CITY (AP) Americans headed to church or elsewhere in droves early this morning to watch Pope John Paul's funeral.

The public funeral Mass has ended at St. Peter's Square.

Pope John Paul's body has been carried inside St. Peter's Basilica for a private burial ceremony deep within the tomb holding the remains of other pontiffs.

The crowd of hundreds of thousands in the square cheered and a giant bell tolled while formally dressed Vatican ushers carried away John Paul's simple cypress casket.

Hundreds of dignitaries were on hand as the pontiff was remembered as a "priest to the last." Many in the crowd chanted John Paul's name in several languages while holding up signs asking that he be named a saint.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger choked up while pointing to the pope's window overlooking the square -- telling the crowd he was sure the pontiff was looking down and blessing them as he had thousands of times from the same place.

President Bush's appearance in Vatican City hasn't gone over well with many in the crowd gathered for the pope's funeral.

Some people outside St. Peter's Square booed and whistled when the president's face was shown on giant video monitors set up for the thousands who couldn't get into the square.

Bush led a US delegation that included two former presidents - his father and Bill Clinton. The first lady and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were also there.

The president and first lady sat next to French President Jacques Chirac.

Bush arrived in Vatican City in a limo displaying two flags - an American flag on one fender and the Vatican banner on the other.


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