April 8, 2005 11:54 AM PDT

Web photos show gatherings in pope's honor

Thousands of people camped out in Rome this week to pay their respects to the late John Paul II, and some came together in an online community to share photos of the many memorials.

Pope gallery

The throng had been gathering since before the aging, ailing pope died almost a week ago, and many more people converged on the Vatican in the days that followed. The funeral took place Friday, with 2 billion people expected to tune in to broadcasts over TV and radio networks as well as the Web.

For the people gathered in Rome, ceremonies in remembrance of the 84-year-old pope also were shown on giant outdoor screens.

Although the pope was a widely seen as a traditionalist on matters of church doctrine, his papacy coincided with the dawn of the Internet age. The Vatican capitalized on new technology--for instance, last year it signed a deal with Verizon Communications to deliver a daily papal message to subscribers' cell phones. On Saturday, it used SMS (short message service) and e-mail to alert journalists to the news of the pope's death.

On Thursday, the pope's last will and testament was posted online.


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