Senate delegation to papal funeral named

April 5, 2005 at 6:12 PM

WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Tuesday a group of 14 senators will attend the April 8 Vatican funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Frist, who will lead the delegation, said he was grateful for the opportunity to "express the respect and appreciation of the United States Senate and the American citizens for Pope John Paul II, his wisdom, works and enduring contributions to the global community."

Also to attend the pope's funeral are Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Senate Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; and two of the Senate's most prominent Catholic members, Ted Kennedy and John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

Rounding out the delegation are Sens. Joe Biden, D-Del.; Jim Bunning, R-Ky.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Mike DeWine, R-Ohio; Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; Pete Domenici, R-N.M.; Pat Leahy, D-Vt.; Mel Martinez, R-Fla.; and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

The official U.S. delegation to the papal funeral mass is limited to President George W. Bush, his wife Laura, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Bush's two immediate predecessors in office, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton.

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