Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told reporters that “following the wishes of the pope emeritus, the funeral will be held under the sign of simplicity,” stressing that it will be a “solemn but sober funeral.”
“The express request on the part of the emeritus pope is that everything be simple, both with regard to the funeral as well as the other celebrations and gestures during this time of pain,” he added.
While only two state delegations were officially invited to attend the funeral Mass for the pope emeritus, some heads of state and public figures have decided to attend the funeral in an unofficial capacity.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar are among those who have already confirmed their attendance at Benedict XVI’s funeral in an unofficial capacity.
European royals Queen Sofia of Spain and King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are also planning to attend.
Jean-Pierre said that Biden “joins Catholics and so many others around the world in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He will always remember the pope’s generosity and meaningful conversation they had when he visited the Vatican in 2011.”