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The burial for Pope Benedict won’t have US President Joe Biden there. Before leaving for Kentucky, Biden had a tense conversation with a reporter during which he revealed his reasons for skipping the funeral.
The US President was questioned by EWTN’s Owen Jensen about why he would not be attending his burial the following day.
Well, why do you believe that? Biden queries the journalist.
You tell me, Mr. Jensen replied.
In response, Biden said, “You know why,” to which Mr. Jensen retorted, “You can tell me.”
It would require an entourage of 1,000 people to show up, Mr. Biden remarked, which is why he won’t be attending the burial tomorrow. The entire situation would be moved in the wrong way.
We would only get in the way, the president continued. Benedict XVI, he continued, was a “wonderful man”.
However, according to Fox News, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Joe Donnelly, the American ambassador to the Holy See, would be representing the United States at the funeral.
She informed the media, “In accordance with the late pope’s intentions and the Vatican, Joe Donnelly, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, would represent the country at the funeral. These were the things they wanted, exactly. Their wishes were for this. So that’s what you see coming from the United States.”
With the passing of Benedict, also known as Joseph Ratzinger, on Saturday at the age of 95, an extraordinary circumstance in which two “men in white,” he and Francis, were residing in the Vatican came to an end.
The Vatican reported that during Benedict’s three days of lying in state in the basilica, where his body was laid out in front of the altar in red papal robes, an estimated 195,000 people had already paid their respects.
Benedict was a great theologian, but he was also a contentious character who alienated many Catholics by vehemently supporting conservative orthodoxy on topics like abortion.