Tuesday, April 05, 2005
From the Guardian, courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.M.:
There was no immediate word on whether the Pope [John Paul II] had been embalmed, but it is thought that he must have been - his corpse would not survive the current hot temperatures in Rome for long.SIDEBAR: Friday's papal funeral is turning out to be a bit of a hard ticket:
Previous popes have been embalmed with varying degrees of success. When Pius XII died in October 1958 the process was carried out so incompetently according to his biographer John Cornwell, that he turned black and his nose fell off before the funeral.
One who claimed to be hopeful of attending the funeral was Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be assassin who shot and nearly killed the Pope in St Peter's Square in 1981. Still in prison in Turkey, Agca, who was visited by the Pope after the shooting, said he mourned the loss of a spiritual brother. His lawyer conceded there was not much hope of his wish being granted.UPDATE: Sen. Bill Frist, M.D., after a close examination of film footage of the funeral of Pope Pius XII, announced that the late pontiff may have been buried alive.