Francis: Benedict XVI was the last one

No more public laying outs for dead popes

Rome - For centuries, the burial of a pope has been one of the most elaborate rituals of the Catholic Church. For his own death, however, Francis has already made arrangements to simplify things.

Published  on 03.04.2024 at 09:04  – 

In the Vatican, the ritual for the burial of popes is being greatly simplified. Pope Francis announced this in an interview book with the Spanish journalist Javier Martinez-Brocal, which will be published on Wednesday. According to the book, the deceased pope will no longer be laid out in St Peter's Basilica for the last salute of the faithful.

Benedict XVI was the last pope to be laid out on a catafalque outside the coffin, Francis explained in the interview. He had already spoken to the master of ceremonies and had cancelled this and many other things in the papal funeral ritual. In future, popes should be buried "like any other child of the Church", said Francis, adding: "With dignity, but not on pillows."

The previous funeral ritual had been "overloaded". In future, there will no longer be a separate rite for closing the coffin. For himself, he would like his body to be transferred to the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore immediately after the Vatican funeral. (KNA)