Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls thanked the Italian government and people for the 'exceptional' way they dealt with the millions of pilgrims who came to Rome for the Pope's funeral. Although enourmous crowds descended on Rome last week - queues moved peacefully and there were no incidents. The city authorities and many volunteers laid on water, food, medical services and accommodation for pilgrims - many of whom had travelled great distances. He said: "The Holy See feels a duty to thank the Italian government and the city of Rome for the dedication and the efficiency with which they welcomed the millions of pilgrims who came to Rome to pay their final farewell to John Paul II and to participate in his funeral. It was an exceptional event, and run in a truly exception manner. "It also wishes to underline the availability and generosity of all the people involved in organizing an event that was both without precedent and unpredictable in all of its dimensions. "Special thanks go to the thousands of volunteers from all of Italy who gave of themselves with tireless dedication, together with the Italian Civil Protection and the forces of law and order to assure an orderly and tranquil flow of pilgrims. "Lastly, special applause goes to all the citizens of Rome for their collaboration and patience in accepting the inevitable discomfort of these days. Rome has once again given proof of its millennia-old civility and its attachment to the deceased Pontiff." Source: VIS
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