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Sunday, April 3, 2005


VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2005 (VIS) - This morning Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:

  "The procedures foreseen by the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici gregis" by John Paul II on the occasion of the death of a Supreme Pontiff, are underway in the Vatican.

  "Ascertainment of Death. This morning at 9.30, the rite of ascertainment of the death of John Paul II (Universi Dominici gregis, 17) took place. Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Cardinal Camerlengo and Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice Camerlengo, Archbishop Piero Marini, master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, and the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera went into the apartment of the deceased pontiff with Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, the Pope's personal physician, to proceed with the ascertainment of death, according to the rite of  "Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontifici."

  "The Chancellor Secretary of the Apostolic Camera, Enrico Serafini, then prepared the official death certificate, attached to the medical certificate of Dr. Renato Buzzonetti.

  "Exposition of the Body in the Apostolic Palace. At 12:30 the Cardinal Camerlengo will preside at a celebration to start the visits to the body of John Paul laid out in the Clementine Hall for the homage and prayers of members of the Roman Curia, civil and religious authorities and members of the Diplomatic Corps. Visits will end at 4 p.m.

  "Transfer of the body to the Vatican Basilica for homage by all the faithful. The hour of the transfer of the body will be decided by the first congregation of Cardinals which will be held tomorrow morning at 10:30 in the Bologna Hall. As previously announced, it is expected that the transfer will take place about 5 p.m."

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