Definitive Numbers of Attendance at Pope's Funeral

6,000 Media Personnel on Hand

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 12, 2005 ( Three million people came to Rome to attend John Paul II’s funeral rites, an event covered by 6,000 media personnel, the Holy See announced.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls reported the data on the presence of the media and numbers of pilgrims to Rome, from the moment of the Pope’s death until the day of his funeral, April 2-8. ZENIT already reported some of the preliminary figures last Sunday.

According to the Holy See’s statement, the Vatican press office and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications accredited 6,000 journalists, photographers and radio and television agents for the media coverage of the event.

The press note stated that 137 television networks in 81 countries notified the pontifical council that they broadcast the funeral. The real number was likely higher.

The funeral was followed on the Holy See’s Internet web page by 1.3 million people.

The Mass was concelebrated by 157 cardinals. Seven hundred archbishops and bishops and 3,000 prelates and priests were present. Three hundred priests distributed Communion.

There were 169 foreign delegations present, as well as 10 monarchs, 59 heads of state, 3 heirs to the throne, 17 heads of government, 3 spouses of heads of state, 8 vice heads of state, 6 deputy prime ministers, 4 presidents of parliaments, 12 foreign-affairs ministers, 13 other governmental ministers, 24 ambassadors, and 10 presidents, directors-general and secretaries-general of international organizations.

Also present were delegations of 23 Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches, 8 Churches and ecclesial communions of the West, and 3 international Christian organizations.

In addition, there were several delegations and officials of Judaism, and 17 delegations of non-Christian religions and organizations for interreligious dialogue.

Citing data from the Italian Civil Protection, the Holy See reported that during the period the body of the Pope lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica, 21,000 entered the church every hour, or 350 a minute.

The average time necessary to see the Pope’s mortal remains was 13 hours, with a maximum wait of 24 hours. The line extended for 5 kilometers (approximately 3 miles).

On the day of the funeral, 500,000 faithful were in St. Peter’s Square and the Via della Conciliazione and were able to follow the funeral Mass, while 600,000 followed it on large screens in other parts of Rome. There were 29 large screens placed around the city.

Four hundred disabled persons followed the Mass in reserved places in the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Some of the 10,000 volunteers distributed 3 million free bottles of water among pilgrims.

Twenty-one medical posts were set up and first-aid treatment was given to 4,000 people.

The municipality of Rome sent 20 SMS messages to the cell phones of 43,500 citizens with information on hospitality for pilgrims and the traffic.

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