» Monday, April 4, 2005

Pope’s Funeral

Asked if the Prime Minister would attend the Pope’s funeral, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said people should wait for the facts. The PMOS said the Cardinals were holding a meeting, and we would let people know what the decision would be if we had to make one.

Asked if that meant that the Prime Minster was not committed "come what may" to attend the Royal Wedding, the PMOS said he thought that might be the next question, but since there had been no announcement from the Vatican regarding the funeral, we had nothing more to say.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be taking part in the Vespers service, the PMOS said he was attending the service only.

Asked what the Prime Minister’s attitude to the Pope’s funeral was, and would he like to attend, the PMOS said the Prime Minister had summed up his views about the Pope’s life and his contribution to the world in the statement that was issued on Saturday night, and in the words the Prime Minister spoke yesterday. They reflected the significance that the Prime Minister gave to the Pope’s death.

Asked again that it was not an "absolute given" that the Prime Minister would attend the Royal Wedding, the PMOS said again that it was better to wait for the facts.

Put to him again that people would understand if the Prime Minister went to the wedding of the future Head of the Church of England, the PMOS repeated that we should wait and see.

Asked if the Prime Minister did attend the funeral, would Mrs. Blair also attend, the PMOS said it was better to wait and see, and we would then announce the facts.

Asked when making his decision about the funeral, would the Prime Minister take into account the sensitivities of the Anglican Church members, the PMOS said the Prime Minister was fully aware of the sensitivities of everyone in the country. The PMOS advised people not to get ahead of themselves, and to wait and see instead what would be announced from the Vatican.

Asked if a Prime Minister went to the last Pope’s funeral (John Paul I), the PMOS replied that an Ambassador to the Vatican had attended.

Asked if it was customary for The Queen to attend Heads of States’ funerals, the PMOS said that the Palace should speak for the Palace.

Asked if Prince Charles would attend the funeral, the PMOS said he could think of many answers, but the best one would be for Clarence House to answer that one!!

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. I am a simple man from the North of England but I cannot understand how the Prime Minister has the bare faced cheekto represent me at His Holiness’ Funeral. I am a protestant, but have never witnessed such a humane,rightious or holy man as Pope John Paul 2. A man to be truly admired by a mankind. Yet, a man who will knowingly commit a Nation to an illegal war (against all that John Paul stood for) is going to Rome to represent me! I think not!!

    Comment by IAN - MANCHESTER — 4 Apr 2005 on 10:16 pm | Link

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