Hundreds in Brussels watch Pope’s funeral
8 April 2005
Hundreds of people flocked to Brussels’ Sts. Michel and Gudule Cathedral Friday to watch Pope John Paul II’s funeral on a giant screen.
Some 200 people who came to pay their last respects honoured the deceased pontiff with their own prayers and songs before watching the ceremony, Belga news agency reported.
Authorities here decided only Thursday evening to put up a giant screen at the cathedral, but everything apparently came off without a hitch.
Belgian King Albert and Queen Paola led the official Belgian delegation at the funeral ceremony in Rome.
Also attending were Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, Vice Prime-Minister Didier Reynders and Hermann De Croo, Belgian parliament president.
Although not part of the official Belgian delegation, Yves Leterme, minister president of the Flemish Community, and Marie Arena, minister of international relations for the French Community, were also in attendance in Rome.
More than 2 million pilgrims and 200 of the world’s political and religious leaders attended the funeral, which lasted nearly three hours and ended around 12.45 pm local time when 12 pall bearers carried the cypress-wood coffin into St. Peter’s Basilica.
The progressive Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels has been tipped by some as a possible successor.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news