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On Certification of Death, and Where Pope's Body Will Lie in State

Statement of Vatican Spokesman

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is the statement issued this morning by Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office.

* * *

Procedures are under way in the Vatican as established in John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," on the death of the Supreme Pontiff.

Certification of Death. The rite of the certification of John Paul II's death ("Universi Dominici Gregis," 17) was held today at 9:30 a.m. His Eminence Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, cardinal chamberlain; Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain; Archbishop Piero Marini, master of pontifical liturgical celebrations; and the prelate clerics of the Apostolic Chamber, went to the deceased Pontiff's apartment with Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, the Pope's personal physician, to proceed with the certification of death, in keeping with the rite of the "Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontifici."

The Secretary Chancellor of the Apostolic Chamber, lawyer Enrico Serafin, then redacted the Act of Demise, with the annexed medical certificate of Dr. Renato Buzzonetti.

Exposition of Remains in the Apostolic Palace. At 12:30 p.m. the cardinal chamberlain will preside at a celebration to commence visits to John Paul II's remains, exposed in the Clementine Hall, for the homage and prayer of the members of the Roman Curia, and the authorities of the diplomatic corps. The visits will end at 4 p.m.

Transfer of the Remains to the Vatican Basilica for the Homage of all the Faithful. The hour of the transfer will be decided by the first congregation of cardinals, which will take place tomorrow, April 4, at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Hall. It is foreseen, as already anticipated, that the transfer will take place around 5 p.m.

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