Historians are divided about Pope Pius’ record, with supporters insisting he used quiet diplomacy to save Jewish lives while critics say he was silent as the Holocaust raged.
In Mongolia, Francis keeps eyes on two modern Caesars — Xi and Putin.
The Catholic leader will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure Wednesday afternoon and be hospitalized at Rome’s Gemelli hospital for several days.
Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the ceremony, despite Benedict’s request for simplicity and official efforts to keep the first funeral for a pope emeritus in modern times low-key.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is particularly beloved in Castel Gandolfo, where he joined a centuries-long list of pontiffs who summered at the papal villa overlooking Lake Alban in the hills south of Rome.
Pope Francis will celebrate his funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday, an unprecedented event in which a current pope will celebrate the funeral of a former one.