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Cardinal Dolan traveling to Rome to attend funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Queens (WABC) — Thousands of Catholics, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, are heading to Rome to attend the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

For Cardinal Dolan, this is not just a duty, but a personal pilgrimage to pay his last respects.

“I can’t say I’m in his inner circle…it’s him who ordained me Archbishop of New York,” he said.

Five years after Pope Benedict’s visit to New York, after eight years as pope, he became the first pope in 600 years to resign due to health problems.

Cardinal Dolan remembers his contribution to the Church even after he resigned as pope, even near his death.

“Everyone knew he existed,” he said.

The Vatican estimates that 60,000 people will attend the Pope’s funeral in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday. More people watch online and on TV around the world.

Eyewitness News reporter Mike Marza is heading to the Vatican for Pope Benedict’s funeral. You can see his report this week on his Eyewitness News.

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