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Monday, April 4, 2005


VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2005 (VIS) - Following is the official death certificate for Pope John Paul II, released yesterday by the Holy See Press Office:

"I certify that His Holiness John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) born in Wadowice (Krakow, Poland) on May 18, 1920, residing in Vatican City, and a Vatican citizen, died at 9:37 p.m. on April 2, 2005 in his apartment in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City because of:

- septic shock.
- irreversible cardio-circulatory collapse.

"In a person also affected by:

- Parkinson's disease.
- progressive episodes of acute respiratory insufficiency and a consequent tracheotomy.
- benign prostate hypertrophy complicated by urosepsis.
- hypertensive cardiopathy and ischemia.

"The ascertainment of death was effected by means of an electrocardiogram which lasted 20 minutes.

"I declare that the causes of death, according to my science and conscience, are those indicated above.

"Vatican City, April 2, 2005

"Director of Health and Hygiene of Vatican City State
"Dr. Renato Buzzonetti"
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VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2005 (VIS) - A student of the history of the Roman Curia, in particular the office called the Apostolic Camera, will find that, as early as the 11th century, the term "camera thesauraria" (treasure chamber) appeared, describing an office set up to administer the finances of the Roman Curia and the temporal goods of the Holy See. Today it performs the latter task only in the period of "sede vacante" or vacant see.

  In the 12th century, the head of that office was known as the "camerarius," or camerlengo (chamberlain) - a title which carries over to today. That same century saw the former offices of viceroy, treasurer and wardrobe guardian incorporated into this single department. In the 13th and 14th centuries it acquired judicial functions in fiscal matters as well as certain penal and civil cases.

  The camerlengo of Holy Roman Church (to be distinguished from the camerlengo of the College of Cardinals) was often a cardinal, but this became mandatory only in the 15th century. Then - as now - he was assisted by a vice-camerlengo, a general auditor and chamber clerks, called Cleric Prelates. Today there is also a notary.

  The current camerlengo of Holy Roman Church is Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo. He was born March 31, 1927 in Banos de Rio Tobia in the diocese of Calahorra y La Calzada-Logrono. He was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul on June 28, 1988, and was appointed camerlengo on April 5, 1993.

  In the early centuries the camerlengo, individual clerks and chamber auditor had acquired specific competencies and presided over special tribunals, though the "camera plena" or full chamber functioned as a collegial court. Throughout the 19th century the Camera was above all a tribunal for the pontifical state. With his Apostolic Constitution "Sapienti Consilio" of June 29, 1908, Pope St. Pius X confirmed the Apostolic Camera in its functions of temporal power which it had exercised in the past.

  With Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution "Regimini Ecclesiae Universae" of August 15, 1967, the Apostolic Camera, presided over by the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, or if he is impeded, by the vice-camerlengo, preserved the function of caring for and administering the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See during the period of "sede vacante," that is, between the death of one Pope and the election of his successor.

  A reconfirmation of these special duties came with John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" of June 28, 1988.

  As confirmed by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis" of February 1996, the camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the major penitentiary are the only two heads of curial offices whose functions do not cease during the "sede vacante." In fact, those of the camerlengo actually increase during this period.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2005 (VIS) - The Governorate of Vatican City State has announced that today, April 4 and on the day of the funeral of the Holy Father, the Vatican Museums and all other offices of the Governorate of Vatican City will remain closed as a sign of mourning.

  Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5, at 12:30 p.m. in the John Paul II Room of the Holy See Press Office, Archbishop Piero Marini, master of Liturgical Ceremonies of the Supreme Pontiff, will hold a briefing for accredited journalists on "Rites and Legislation of the Vacant See." This will be transmitted live by the Vatican Television Center on Telepace.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of the morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls held a briefing in the Holy See Press Office for accredited journalists on the following questions:

"First and Second General Congregations of the Cardinals.

  "The first two General Congregations of the Cardinals in the period of Vacant See were held this morning in the Bologna Room of the Vatican Apostolic Palace according to the norms of the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici gregis" (UDG).

  "Sixty-five cardinals took part in the First Congregation which began at 10 a.m. They swore an oath according to para 12 of UDG.

  "In the second General Congregation, the 65 cardinals present made the most urgent decisions, including the mode of transferring the body of the deceased pontiff to the Vatican Basilica, and the date of the funeral Mass for John Paul II.

  "Also present at this morning's General Congregations were Archbishops Leonardo Sandri, substitute at the Secretariat of State, Francesco Monterisi, the secretary of the College of Cardinals, and Piero Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, and several ceremonial assistants.

"Transfer of the body of John Paul II. 

  "At 5 p.m. today, Monday April 4, the body of John Paul II will be moved from the Clementine Hall to the Vatican Basilica.

  "After a moment of prayer presided over by Cardinal Camerlengo Eduardo Martinez Somalo, the transfer of the body will begin.

  "The procession will proceed along the Scala Nobile, the First Loggia, the Sala Ducale, the Sala Regia, the Scala Regia and then, coming through the Bronze Door, it will cross St Peter's Square and enter the basilica by the central doors.

  "In the Vatican Basilica, the Cardinal Camerlengo will preside at the Liturgy of the Word.

  "The visits of the faithful can begin at around 8 p.m.

  "For today it has been decided that the Vatican Basilica will remain open all night. It will close only from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. in order to allow for the technical maintenance of the basilica.

"Funeral Mass for John Paul II.

  "The funeral Mass for John Paul II will be celebrated on Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square.

  "The funeral liturgy will be celebrated by the cardinals and the patriarchs of the Oriental Churches. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside.

  "At the end of the liturgy, the casket of the Roman Pontiff will be brought into the Vatican Basilica and then into the Vatican Grottoes for burial."

  Navarro-Valls noted that the body of John Paul II will rest in the same place where Blessed Pope John XXIII was entombed. The remains of the this Pope, who died in 1963, were moved from the grottos to the Vatican Basilica on June 3, 2001, nine months after his beatification on September 3, 2000.

"Next General Congregations.

  "The next General Congregations of Cardinals, as of tomorrow morning, will take place in the New Synod Hall starting at 10 a.m."

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