Pope's Body... Not Embalmed?

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posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Pope's Body "Prepared," not Embalmed

This may seem way out in left field to some, but I wanted to get it out there anyway.

I'm a working funeral director, and I've had the opportunity to embalm local leaders, including priests. Not once have I ever encountered an instance where a priest was not embalmed, usually due to the amount of time elapsing between death and viewing, and then the viewing and the funeral.

the pope will be going almost six days un-embalmed, laying in a hot area with what could turn out to be 3 or 4 million people passing by the remains to view them.

Why the lack of embalming?

My thought would be a quick road to sainthood- they could exhume the body any number of years from now, only to find the blood is still intact, or the body is still intact, as opposed to the quick breakdown and decomposition that would normally be seen with an unembalmed body. This is similar to what Buffalo, NY residents saw with Father Nelson Baker- upon exhumation of the body, three vials of blood were discovered in a seperate vault, still intact and in good condition, even 60+ years after Father Baker's death.

Here is a link to a quick background on Father Baker: Father Baker Information

Let's hear your thoughts on what the reasons behind this may be, however "out there" they might be.




posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:34 PM
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That had been my thought as well. Another possibility is that perhpas JPII wanted a more "natural" setting (for lack of a better word). This might be why he wants to be buried in the ground as opposed to an above ground crypt.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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I heard that some buddishist monks are never emballed and there bodies lack of decay is a reflection of how pure of a life they lived. There is even a shrine with bodies of monks from hundreds of years ago in that have been left alone and were preserved naturally by mummification. The strange thing is these bodies were left in places that were far from ideal for mummification yet they still became mummified.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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That's kind of freaky isn't it? Given that he's out there on display for so many days. I mean how much make-up would they have to put on him for people not to notice the deterioration?

I'm kinda creeped out now.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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It does appear it is to quicken the canonization process. three coffins, wooden inside of one of metal inside another or wood.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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I think, also, it's to prove that he's dead, without the accusation that the embalming process is what killed him....



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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Heres a link to a facinating artacle on this topic...

www.forteantimes.com...

When the body of Pope John XXIII was dug up in March 2001, he was in good condition, despite having been dead for 37 years.



Another extraordinary saint is Blessed Margaret of Metola. Margaret was a blind dwarf, hunchbacked and lame, but that didn’t stop her from living a life of heroic service to the poor. She died in 1330, but in 1558 her remains had to be transferred because her coffin was rotting away. At the exhumation, witnesses were amazed to find that like the coffin, the clothes had rotted, but Margaret’s crippled body hadn’t. With typical understatement,

Cruz reports: “The body of Blessed Margaret, which has never been embalmed, is dressed in a Dominican habit, and lies under the high altar of the Church of St Domenico at Citta-di-Castello, Italy. The arms of the body are still flexible, the eyelashes are present, and the nails are in place on the hands and feet. The colouring of the body has darkened slightly and the skin is dry and somewhat hardened, but by all standards the preservation can be considered a remarkable condition, having endured for over six hundred and fifty years.”


This nun below died in 1897



When St John of the Cross died in 1591, he was buried in a vault beneath the floor of the church. When the tomb was opened, nine months later, the body was fresh and intact; and when a finger was amputated to use as a relic, the body bled as a living person would have done. When the tomb was opened for a second time nine months after that, the body was still fresh, despite the fact that it had been covered with a layer of quicklime.

At further exhumations in 1859 and 1909, the body was found to be still fresh. The last exhumation was in 1955, when the body – after nearly 400 years – was still “moist and flexible” although the skin “was slightly discoloured”.



[edit on 6-4-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 03:09 PM
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how could it go that long without being preserved? i dont get it? doesnt seem logical.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 03:16 PM
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lol, I thought that was the whole reason why it's supposed to be a miracle.


pao

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 03:49 PM
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i hope to look that good long after i'm dead



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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This isn't meant to be disrespectful but wouldn't the body begin to smell?



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by jlc163
lol, I thought that was the whole reason why it's supposed to be a miracle.


okay... well.. didnt know that... that explains it.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by dbrandt
This isn't meant to be disrespectful but wouldn't the body begin to smell?

I don't think you would notice amongst most of the other Europeans.
Kinda blends in. No disrespect, just fact.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by dbrandt
This isn't meant to be disrespectful but wouldn't the body begin to smell?

I remember reading somewhere that sometimes when the caskets are opened the smell of fresh roses fills the air. The link below provides some more examples of bodies not decaying as normal...
members.aol.com...

edit: going down through the page click on the enter button, and then you can go through a few pages of these. Stories are attached as well.

[edit on 6-4-2005 by Crazy Chemist]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:52 PM
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I was wondering, because the pope is not embalmed, I wonder if the body in the viewing for the public is actually a wax image and not the real pope.

Just a thought.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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the gentleman is looking awefully green to me.

I guess they just prepared him for viewing , But seriously He looks like his body is already decomposing.


story.news.yahoo.com.../ap/20050405/ap_on_re_eu/pope_body



[edit on 6-4-2005 by bordnlazy]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
I was wondering, because the pope is not embalmed, I wonder if the body in the viewing for the public is actually a wax image and not the real pope.

Just a thought.


I doubt it, since we saw him up to a week or so before his death, it doesn't give them much time to prepare an accurate "dummy" corpse.

bordnlazy, you're right, He is looking a little bit green, my guess would be the heat, combined with the changing levels of moisture in the room, are probably speeding the process of decomposition. Wait until Friday, that'll be the day we notice the biggest difference in coloring.

Since a doctor had to sign the death certificate, and give a cause of death, It's safe to say the didn't leave him un-embalmed just to prove that the embalming didn't kill him... it's not a procedure that you can easily hide from someone, without extensive makeup or a clothing article covering the incision site.

NetChicken, thanks for the link, it was quite an interesting read. I always take everything from Fortean Times with a grain of salt (like I take everything I read anywhere, really), but it was an interesting article nonetheless.

It'll be terribly interesting to see if they decide to exhume the body down the line- it'll be at least 5 years before we saw that, since thats the required amount of time that has to pass before one can become a candidate for canonization.

There is still the possibility that this was JP II's own decision, although I would think we would have heard about that now, since we're already hearing about the changes he made to the Conclave process, such as adding the bells along with the white smoke, so that it will be quite evident for the public, and especially the media, when a new Pontiff is elected.

[edit on 6-4-2005 by Bobbo]



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 06:29 PM
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Maybe they have prepared just his face and hands as we cannot see the rest of his body which is clothed and with todays tech may very well be refridgerated.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by bordnlazy
But seriously He looks like his body is already decomposing.


I kept wondering why he looked so bad. His face was sagging
and he looked AWFUL. Now we know why.

Mother Teresa also wasn't embalmed. They had her on a block
of ice for the week or so that she was being 'waked' and viewed.
I think that John Paul II, like Mother Teresa, both believed in going
out naturally - 'no embalming and just put me in the dirt'.

Excellent book on the saints who don't decay ..

THE INCORRUPTABLES. Very good. You can get it through Tan books.
Stories. Pictures. Everything.



posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

Originally posted by bordnlazy
But seriously He looks like his body is already decomposing.



THE INCORRUPTABLES. Very good. You can get it through Tan books.
Stories. Pictures. Everything.



Here's a link without getting the book.

paranormal.about.com...

A tidbit I found in those links reads:
Although popes’ bodies are not fully embalmed, they are ‘preserved’ with formalin to prolong the period of public viewing. Funeral director Joseph Watts commented to the New York Daily News, Part of forteantimes.com though.



[edit on 6-4-2005 by Lanotom]






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