THE funeral service for Pope John Paul II at the Cathedral in Palma will be held on Friday, April 8, at 8.30pm. This was confirmed as soon as the Vatican confirmed the 10am service at St Peter's in Rome.
A book of condolences has been opened at the Casa de la Iglesia, in Calle Seminario 4.
Parish churches all over the island will be holding funeral services after the one at the Cathedral.
Until then, there will be special prayers for the Pope during all masses held on Majorca.
In Minorca, the funeral service will be held at the church of San Francisco in Ciutadella at 8pm on Friday as the Cathedral is closed for repairs.
Nearly 3'000 people attended Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday, which was presided by the Bishop of Majorca, Mgr Jesus Murgui.
In his sermon, the Bishop praised the Pope's firm convictions. He said that if the Pope had maintained his position as a world leader for so many years, it was because he had not renounced the essential values of the church and had been strong in a period of weakness and clear in a period of compromises. He also said that he had been the Pope of young people, of travel, of the Third World, who had made freedom a flag. Balearic leader Jaume Matas spoke of the mark which the Pope had made both as a person and as leader of the Church.
The Palma city council cancelled all the official acts it had organised for Angel Sunday at Bellver Castle, as a sign of mourning and respect.
The Council of Majorca yesterday made an official declaration of condolences for the death of the Pope, speaking of his defence of peace, his efforts to maintain contacts with other religions and his journeys, which broke the traditional seclusion of the Popes in the Vatican. Council president Maria Antonia Munar read out the message.
Between 2'000 and 2'500 Majorcans are expected to travel to Rome to attend the funeral of the Pope on Friday.
Jaume Bauzá, chairman of the Balearic travel agencies association, said that there has been a huge demand, but organising the trips is proving to be difficult because it is hard to find hotel beds and other services in Rome.
He added that a day return is the most viable option and efforts are being made to organise several direct charter flights.
Despite the difficulties, one travel agency has organised a trip which leaves today with 100 people. Another option is to fly to the Peninsula and then continue to Rome by car, coach or train, although this also presents problems of accommodation. He said it was hard to find hotel beds in Rome, although there is the option of sleeping in areas which have been set up in Rome or to camp out.
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