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John Paul II's coffin brought out before beatification

The Vatican has brought out Pope John Paul II's coffin in the crypt under St Peter's Basilica ahead of his beatification on Sunday.

It was placed near St Peter's tomb, and will go on display before the main altar during the ceremony, after which it will be re-interred elsewhere.

Beatification is a step towards declaring the late pontiff a saint.

The Vatican has confirmed Zimbabwe's controversial President, Robert Mugabe, will attend despite an EU travel ban.

Mr Mugabe, a Roman Catholic, also attended John Paul II's funeral in 2005 despite the ban, imposed over human rights abuses.

The Vatican is a sovereign state which is not an EU member although it issues euro coins bearing the Pope's head.

However, the Zimbabwean leader, 87, will have to transit the Italian capital, Rome.

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TAGGED: VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM


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