WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (AP) President Joe Biden paid tribute to Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign in six centuries, at a funeral at the Vatican on Thursday.
Benedict, who became pope emeritus after resigning as head of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, died on Dec. 31 at the age of 95.
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Biden, who is a Catholic, visited the Vatican embassy, officially known as the Apostolic Embassy of the Holy See, to sign a book of condolence for Benedict.
“It’s a great honor,” Biden said after finishing the book, which was open on a small table with a large portrait of Benedict in the background.
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Biden told reporters Wednesday that Benedict was a “good guy,” recalling spending hours with the late Pope. He said the conversation “reminds me of going back to a theology class.”
“I found him relaxed and very rational,” Biden said, adding that Benedict “has more conservative views than I do in the Catholic field.”
But, “I admire him a lot. I think he’s a good guy,” the president said.
Biden also said he had inquired about attending Benedict’s funeral but concluded that his presence would have been too overwhelming due to the sheer number of security officials, White House aides, other officials and reporters traveling with him. big damage.
“We’re just going to get in the way,” Biden said.
Pope Francis bid farewell to Benedict XVI in a rare requiem mass with tens of thousands of Catholics on Thursday, with the deceased pope presided over by the living pope. Benedict is buried in a grotto beneath St. Peter’s Basilica. (Associated Press)
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