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Pope Benedict buried in the Vatican after his funeral: live updates

Pope Benedict buried in the Vatican after his funeral: live updates

credit…James Hill for The New York Times

When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, after 27 years leading the Catholic Church, his funeral attracted heads of state or government from more than 70 countries, not to mention a variety of monarchs and leaders of the world’s other major religions.

The funeral of Pope Benedict XVI, who in 2013 became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign from office, had a more modest turnout. After all, for nearly a decade, Benedict has been an titular pope — living “hidden from the world,” as he vowed when he stepped down.

The Vatican announced that only two official delegations would take part in the ceremony: one from Italy led by President Sergio Mattarella and the other from Benedict’s native Germany led by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

However, a large number of outstanding leaders will be on hand.

The Vatican said representatives of other countries will participate in particular, including the kings of Spain and Belgium, and the presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, Togo and San Marino.

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Gabon and Slovakia plan to attend, as do ministers from Cyprus, Colombia, Croatia, France and Britain, according to the Vatican’s guest list that has grown since Benedict’s death on Saturday. Among the other dignitaries who were expected to attend was the head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a more than 900-year-old Catholic order.

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President Biden, who is Catholic, will not attend, but he sent Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly.

Italian government has ordered All the flags of Italy and the European Union are on the General Aviation Buildings at half-staff on Thursday. Her office said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni would also attend.

Representatives of churches and Christian ecumenical organizations in the world have also announced that they intend to participate.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians, sent two representatives. Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Head of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, is expected to attend. The Orthodox Churches of Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Macedonia and the Orthodox Church in America also planned to send representatives.

Officials from the Anglican and Protestant churches are expected to attend. Among the expected attendees was a delegation from the Jewish community in Rome and representatives of two Islamic organizations in Italy.

It was still uncertain how many cardinals of the Church would be present.

Matteo Bruni, a Vatican spokesman, said invitations were extended to all 224 cardinals. This week, he said, “We’ll see who comes.”