4 Apr 2005

Catholics around the Pacific mourn the death of Pope John Paul

7:00 am on 4 April 2005

Italian officials and Vatican clerics have been paying their respects to Pope John Paul the second, whose body is lying in state in the Vatican...as worshippers in the Pacific pay their tributes.

A death certificate issued by the Vatican said the Pope died from septic shock and irreversible heart failure.

Catholic communities around the world have been grieving for the pontiff, and world leaders have hailed him as a force for peace.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, described the late pontiff as a shining example of total devotion and dedication to the teachings of the Christian gospel.

The Catholic community in Fiji has gone into mourning.

The bells of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in central Suva have started ringing at ten minute intervals and will continue non-stop until the Pope's burial in 9 days time.