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Thousands Gather For Funeral Of Coptic Pope


The body of Pope Shenouda on public viewing inside the Abassiya Cathedral in Cairo on March 18.
Tens of thousands of mourners have convened at the main cathedral in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, for the funeral of Coptic Orthodox Christian Pope Shenouda.

Religious figures from several countries, including a Roman Catholic delegation from the Vatican, joined local clerics and dignitaries for the ceremony at St. Mark's Cathedral.

After the Mass, Shenouda's body was ferried to a military airport east of Cairo. From there it was flown to the St. Bishoy Monastery in the desert northwest of the capital, where he was buried.

Shenouda died on March 17 at the age of 88 after leading the Coptic Orthodox for 40 years.

A successor has yet to be named, and it could take months before the complex process is completed.

The Coptic Church is one of the world's most ancient Christian denominations.

Copts make up some 10 per cent of the Egypt’s total population of 80 million.

With AP, AFP, and dpa reports