The body of Pope Paul has been moved in solemn procession from the pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo sixteen miles from Rome to Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican where it was to lie in state before burial on Saturday (12 August).
GV Funeral cortege leaves Castel Gandolfo.
GV Police motorcyclists leading cortege on way to Vatican. (5 SHOTS)
GV Cortege arriving at Church of St. John Lateram. (2 SHOTS)
GV Priests speaking.
TOP VIEW Prayers for the Dead ceremony.
GV Cortege passes Coliseum as crowd watches. (2 SHOTS)
TGV Cortege approaching Saint Peter's Basilica. (2 SHOTS)
GV Cardinals lining stairs at Basilica.
TGV Pope's coffin being carried up stairs.
TGV & SV Coffin carried up stairs. (3 SHOTS)
TRANSCRIPT: HEWITT: "The cortege carrying Pope Paul's body begins the short journey to St. Peter's Basilica. Outside the gates of his Seventeenth Century Summer Palace, the residents of Castel Gandolfo have been waiting patiently for some hours. They watch respectfully as the hearse moves down the driveway. Over a hundred thousand have filed past his body in the last few days. The cortege is flanked by 40 police outriders - the roads line with local police and Carabinieri. As the cortege drove along the modern Appian Way to Rome, large crowds line the route. Some waved; some clapped, others held high pictures of Pope Paul. They entered Rome itself through the ancient walls. The route chosen was along the Valley of Oil and Wine with a view to the sea.
They stopped at the church of St. John Lateram for a brief service of Prayers for the Dead. As Bishop of Rome this was the Pope's Cathedral. It was here that Pope Paul attended a Requiem Mass for his great friend, the former Premier Aldo Moro, murdered by the Red Brigades. As the cortege left the crowd clapped - the traditional way of saying 'you are always with us'.
Then they passed the Coliseum where the first Christians martyrs were slain. The journey also took them past the Imperial Forums and across the Tiber towards St. Peter's basilica. At Saint Peter's a crowd of 35 thousand people had gathered, the singing provided by the choir of the Sistine Chapel. The cortege was met by the College of Cardinals and by the Government Representative Signor Fanfani, President of the Senate. The coffin, made of oak and cedar, and lined with lead was carried on the shoulders of 12-pall-bearers. On the advice of doctors the body had been put in the coffin because of deterioration which means that today's mourners were the last to see Pope Paul. The laying in state will last for three day, until the solemn Requiem Mass on Saturday. The service is expected to be attended by religious and political leaders from around the world. This is Gavin Hewitt in Rome."
REPORTER: GAVIN HEWITT
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The body of Pope Paul has been moved in solemn procession from the pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo sixteen miles from Rome to Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican where it was to lie in state before burial on Saturday (12 August). Gavin Hewitt of the BBC reports.