23 Jan 2006

Vatican representatives among those attending funeral for Cardinal Pio Taofinuu

7:17 am on 23 January 2006

The funeral services for Cardinal Pio Taofinuu at the end of the week are expected to be among the biggest held in Samoa in recent history.

The Vatican is sending envoys and many bishops from Oceania have confirmed their attendance.

Diocese's in the Pacific region are also sending delegations.

The senior religious figure, the only Pacific islander to become a Cardinal, died on Thursday after a long illness.

He was 82.

Throughout the week, parishes will take turns paying their respects to the man described by the Prime Minister,Tuilaepa Sailele, as a visionary leader whose appointment as cardinal brought honor to Samoa