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Thousands queue to see former pope Benedict’s body lying in state

As former Pope Benedict XVI’s body is in Vatican state, thousands of people have paid their respects.

On Monday, the doors to St Peter’s Basilica opened to the public as mourners paid their respects to the pontiff who passed away on Saturday at the age 95.

Some members of the public, who had waited hours in the dampness before dawn to see him, marched past his body.

Benedict is to be laid in the open at the basilica’s centre, ahead of his funeral tomorrow morning.

Image Benedict is in a state of repose ahead of his funeral on Thursday

Security officials anticipate at least 25.000 people passing the site on the first day.

Filippo Tuccio (35), who arrived from Venice by overnight train, was among those queuing.

He stated, “I wanted to pay tribute to Benedict because he played a key part in my life as well as my education.”

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According to Mr Tuccio, he studied theology and that “his pontificate accompanied” him during his university years.

“He was very important to me, for who I am, my way, my values,” Mr Tuccio said. “This is why he was very important to me, for what I am, my way of thinking and my values,” Mr Tuccio said.

In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by stepping down from the papacy. He claimed that he was no longer able to manage the Catholic church’s affairs because he had lost his mental and physical strength.

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The legacy Pope Benedict XVI

He was criticised for his response to child sex abuse allegations by the Catholic Church, as well as accusations of corruption and feuding within Vatican.

He was resigned and lived in the Vatican monastery, where he served as pope-emeritus. He was succeeded by Pope Francis, the current head Catholic Church.

The public viewing of the body will be held for 10 hours Monday at St Peter’s Basilica.

Twelve hours of viewing will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, just before the funeral at Thursday morning in St Peter’s Square.


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