Thursday, April 07, 2005

Line to See Pope Shut Down

Much to the disappointment of many pilgrims who traveled so far but arrived to late, last night Roman police officers stopped allowing people into the line to pay respects to Pope John Paul II, whose body is lying in state in Saint Peter's Basilica. As of late last night in Rome, officials estimated the wait time to be at 24 hours. With still 1 million people waiting, there was no choice but to close the line so that the funeral scheduled for 10 a.m. CET Friday can begin on time. In other news, the Pope's last will and testament will be released soon. More to come. According to the Associated Press via CBC News Canada:
At one point, hundreds of people led by young women breached a double line of barricades. Police raised their hands to stop them but stepped aside rather than risk a confrontation. The group was stopped at a third barricade manned by Carabinieri military police.

Police made a few exceptions.

A Mexican family with two weeping teenagers and a small child was allowed to cross through the barricade and over the bridge to join the end of the line. Rather than protest, the crowd applauded.

Read more: Italian police turn back mourners hoping to view the Pope's body

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