April 4, 2005Pallbearers carried the body of Pope John Paul II
today from the Apostolic Palace to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican,
where the pontiff will lie in state until his burial Friday morning.
The 84-year-old pope died on Saturday, after a long and very public struggle with Parkinson's disease. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church for 27 years, the former archbishop of Krakow, Poland, was the third longest serving pope in the church's 2,000-year history.
Observers say Pope John Paul, a religious conservative and champion of human rights and freedom around the world, left an indelible mark on the Catholic faithful. Within 20 days, 117 cardinals, all but three of which were appointed by Pope John Paul, will convene in the Sistine Chapel, where they will elect a new leader.
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