The Italian Almanac


Italian News - April 5

The Vatican press office has been overwhelmed with accreditation requests from journalists worldwide seeking to cover the papal funeral and conclave.

Yesterday, reporters stood in line for up to 12 hours to receive the all-important pass that allows them to attend press conferences and key events. Many had submitted the necessary documents days before. Hundreds who gave up after only five or six hours will have to endure the line again.

"We planned for 2,000 journalists. The problem is that they all wanted to come on the same day," said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, vice-director of the Vatican press office. Benedettini did not know how many applications his office had received. But a plan for 2,000 appears to have seriously underestimated the level of interest in the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of his successor.