dtwclipper
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John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:35 am

VATICAN CITY - Departing from tradition, Pope John Paul II was not embalmed, only "prepared" for viewing by hundreds of thousands of mourners, the Vatican said Tuesday.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls did not elaborate on the procedure, but an embalmer in Rome said it appeared John Paul's remains were only touched up with cosmetics.

Massimo Signoracci, whose family embalmed three other popes, said he could not be certain what had been done without examining the body.

http://www.freep.com/news/latestnews/pm3603_20050405.htm


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TWFirst
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:50 am

Hundreds of thousands of mourners prepared his body for viewing? Wow... must have been hard work.  Wink

(That first sentence is poorly written.)
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sunking737
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:56 am

WOW and the Holy Father wont be buried until Friday.

Oh Boy.......
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22right
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:03 am

Sorry to be insenstive here, but isnt that kind of gross to keep a dead body around that long without necessary precautions to arrest the natural decomposition process?? What about the smell and other related results from decomposing flesh?

I have never quite understood the (predominantly Western/Christian?) practice of keeping dead bodies around for a week or more. In Hinduism they generally cremate the body within a couple of days at most (usually......though there may be exceptions for VIP types). I am not saying that Hinduism is better, I am just trying to understand the cultural (or other) reasons behind burying the dead so long after death.
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dl021
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:04 am

I think the premise of the thread is based on one persons stated opinion rather than a reliable press release from the Vatican.

I am fairly certain that the body was well prepared for the multiple day viewing.

This is somewhat morbidly gross.
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prosa
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:06 am

I remember that when Pope Paul VI died in the late 1970's, the embalming didn't "take" too well and his body began to deteriorate visibly even before the end of the viewing period.
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redngold
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:16 am

From the degree of cyanosis (blue color) apparent in high-quality photographs, I'd have to concur that he was at least not embalmed to what are considered *normal* standards -- that is, they didn't use pink embalming fluid to enhance his skin tone.


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B4REAL
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:16 am

Well, this is weird, because I've been looking @ the pictures on CNN and wondered IF PJ2 was embalmed!

I can't imagine that you can't get close enough to smell/notice. Maybe the Swiss gaurds and the individuals who do the prep from 2 AM to 5 AM or something like that.

On top of that, again, I'm not being insensitive, but St. Peter's has a peculiar smell as it is. There are many buried in the building. When I was there, I was awed by the architectual beauty of the facility - but didn't get that part of it all.
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QANTASforever
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:48 am

What I seriously don't understand is this whole "viewing of the body" thing - and not just with the pope, with anyone.

I much rather remember people when they were alive than when they are a corpse - I seriously am baffled why people feel the need to see a corpse.

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DfwRevolution
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting QANTASforever (Reply 8):

I much rather remember people when they were alive than when they are a corpse - I seriously am baffled why people feel the need to see a corpse.

It frequently brings closure to people. Rather than seeing them in a state of pain and suffering, as we did with the pope for years, you see their body in a state of peace and serenity. It's also one last chance to see their physical self. The pope's last public apperance was waving from a window, not easy to say goodbye when that's the last time you see him then he's put in closed casket and buried.
 
corey07850
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:52 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):

It frequently brings closure to people. Rather than seeing them in a state of pain and suffering, as we did with the pope for years, you see their body in a state of peace and serenity. It's also one last chance to see their physical self. The pope's last public apperance was waving from a window, not easy to say goodbye when that's the last time you see him then he's put in closed casket and buried.

Of course if they didn't have the viewing there will always be conspiracy theorists who will deny his death because they didn't have proof.  indifferent 
 
TACAA320
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:21 am

Quoting 22right (Reply 3):
I am just trying to understand the cultural (or other) reasons behind burying the dead so long after death.

Is just a tradition.

Quoting B4real (Reply 7):
St. Peter's has a peculiar smell as it is.

Did you use deodorant that day... (just kidding).
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ltbewr
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:07 pm

In many religions, including Jewish and Islam, burial is to be by the next day, unless that day of obligation (Saturday for Jews, Friday for Islam or in both faiths other holy days in their calandars). There is no viewing but rather a time of up to a week for mourning and visits to the family to console them (by Jews, 'sitting shiva').
In Christian traditions, the passing of several days is to allow people to as noted above, to honor the deceased and their family and to allow for a revival of the person in the days before modern medicine and the person had gone into a coma and still alive. There is no doubt that in the case of the Pope or any Christian, it was also to prove the person was truly dead, and to publicly prove it.
The lack of 'embalment' may be a tradition. His skin and the outside of his body may have been treated with old formulas of oils and herbs to temporarly preserve it.
 
TheGov
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:37 pm

Just from looking at the various pictures, it was pretty clear to me that he was not embalmed. Oddly, we were discussing this very topic in the office today.
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jaysit
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:34 pm

Just from looking at the various pictures, it was pretty clear to me that he was not embalmed

Do you think they've used some alternate interim means by which to prevent decay of his remains at least until the viewing period is over?
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flybyguy
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:45 pm

Quoting TheGov (Reply 13):
Just from looking at the various pictures, it was pretty clear to me that he was not embalmed. Oddly, we were discussing this very topic in the office today.

Shivers.... that's pretty gross. What is the Vatican thinking? Do they want him to start turning weird colors in front of millions. If they keep maintaining him with just makeup, he'll have makeup 1/4 inch thick by Friday and look all putrid. That isn't a dignified death at all. I would think that they would at least keep the body in a temperature controlled glass coffin.

Those pictures on the front of newspapers better stop coming, I don't want to see the Pope decaying over a week, my stomach can't take it.
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SFOMEX
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:05 pm

Actually, they are going to cover his face during the funeral Mass this Friday. When I heard this I thought it was odd, but now it makes sense.

I wonder why he wasn't embalmed.
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SK A340
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:49 pm

Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily, wrote that popes haven't been embalmed since the beginning of the 20th century. Formaldehyde is injected in the body.

/Micke
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:34 pm

I don't want to be disrespectuful, however: Have you heard about the request that came from Poland asking for JPII's heart to be buried in his home country since his body will remain in Vatican? I find this just morbid and I always thought "R.I.P." stood for "Rest in Peace" not "Rest in Piece(s)"  no 
 
tanyaluvs2fly
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:03 pm

Well on cnn they were stating that it was amazing to see him laid in state so soon, usually they said its a full day after someone passes that you see them, but they said it was not even 16 hrs after death and they had him for people to view. hummm interesting
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BA380
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:09 pm

John XXIII is in a glass coffin in the Vatican. Looks pretty pale and waxy, but still. How is that possible if he is not embalmed?
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Gdabski
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:00 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 18):
Have you heard about the request that came from Poland asking for JPII's heart to be buried in his home country since his body will remain in Vatican?

The word request is too strong here. The people were more like wondering if John Paul II left a wish to have his heart buried in Poland as was the case with Chopin, for instance.

/Gdabski
 
B4REAL
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:52 am

Quoting BA380 (Reply 20):
John XXIII is in a glass coffin in the Vatican. Looks pretty pale and waxy, but still. How is that possible if he is not embalmed

Is he the one with the silver shield over his face?
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dtwclipper
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:04 am

Quoting Gdabski (Reply 21):
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 18):
Have you heard about the request that came from Poland asking for JPII's heart to be buried in his home country since his body will remain in Vatican

This is not all that unusual, ask any Austrian were the Hearts of the Hapsburgs are, or the hearts of the French Monarchy....they are not with their former owners, but kept in separate vaults.
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PSAjet17
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:50 am

Quoting BA380 (Reply 20):
John XXIII is in a glass coffin in the Vatican. Looks pretty pale and waxy

I read somewhere that there is a wax mask over the face of John XXIII. He was embalmed when he died in 1963. When they removed him in 2000 to move the body new location, officials were amazed at how well the body looked.

Quoting SFOMEX (Reply 16):
Actually, they are going to cover his face during the funeral Mass this Friday

Part of the traditions for the burial of a Pope is that his face is covered with a white silk cloth. His body will be in a simple wooden casket for the Funeral Mass on Friday. The coffin will be brought into St. Peters after the Mass and placed into a second coffin made of lead, which is hermetically sealed. Then it is placed into a third coffin made of wood and placed in the marble crypt in the lower levels of St. Peters Basilica.
 
highpeaklad
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:44 am

According to The Guardian newspaper this week, a Pope who died in the '50s, his nose went black and fell off before his funeral. And a long time ago (I think they said Henry VIII- unless they meant the King ) the body exploded!
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santosdumont
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:51 am

Guess it just goes to prove the Biblical refrain that we are dust and to dust we shall return -- no matter how good an elbalmer you get.
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scbriml
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:55 am

Quoting Highpeaklad (Reply 25):
the body exploded!

Holy exploding Popes Batman!
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JGPH1A
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:58 am

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 27):
Holy exploding Popes Batman!

Euww !

Maybe they just used clingfilm.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: John Paul II Was Not Embalmed

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:00 am

Did you guys see the platform he was laid out on? I suspect that beneath the fabric under it was a cooling plant and the body was being kept cooled down.

Jan
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