Pope's funeral to be shown online

And the Vatican's Web site is already streaming images of visitors paying their last respects to the pontiff.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
Friday's funeral for Pope John Paul II will be available across a broad range of media, including online venues.

The ceremonies in St. Peter's Basilica, which are expected to draw some 2 billion viewers, will be broadcast over television networks, the Web and satellite radio stations.

The 84-year-old pontiff died Saturday. His health had declined over the past two months, and he was given last rites after suffering a heart attack March 31. While the pope will largely be remembered for his influence on social issues ranging from euthanasia to AIDS, he also earned a place in history as the first pontiff to embrace computer technology.

Current ceremonies showing visitors paying their last respects to the pope are being streamed from the Vatican's Web site.

The Vatican site adds that television coverage of the ceremonies will be distributed worldwide.

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio said this week they will be carrying live reports and special coverage of the funeral.

The Mass is scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. EDT Friday and to be given in Italian.

Earlier Thursday, the pope's last will and testament was posted on the Vatican's Web site.