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Unending Stream of Mourners View Pope's Body


An unending stream of people continues to file past the body of Pope John Paul at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, ahead of a funeral Mass for the late pontiff Friday.

For a second day Tuesday, mourners are waiting in long lines for their chance to file past the crimson-robed body of the pontiff, who died Saturday. Italian news media quote officials as saying more than 300,000 people had paid their respects by Monday evening.

His body is lying in state on a raised platform draped in white and surrounded by four guards in ceremonial uniform.

Meanwhile, cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church met for a second day to arrange a conclave that will elect the next leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics. A Vatican spokesman later said no date for the conclave has yet been chosen.

A spokesman also said the pontiff's body had not been embalmed, as some recent popes had been, but only been prepared for public viewing.

The pope will be buried in a crypt below the Basilica. Up to two million people, including hundreds of foreign leaders and dignitaries, are expected to attend the funeral.

John Paul's death has drawn eulogies from around the world for his commitment to peace, humanity and dialogue. But pro-reformers inside the Church are calling for a new discussion of issues like ordaining women, allowing priests to marry and respecting one's sexual orientation.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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