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Pope John Paul II Buried in the Vatican

Pope John Paul II was buried in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Friday, after a three-hour funeral ceremony. A crowd of millions came to pay homage.

Some 164 cardinals assisted the dean of their college and close confidant of the pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in celebrating the mass. The funeral commences nine days of mourning, after which the College of Cardinals will choose a successor.

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.