The Latest: Pope Francis sends condolences to Bush’s family

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on events honoring former President George H.W. Bush (all times local):

6:40 a.m.

Pope Francis is sending his condolences to the Bush family and says he’s praying it finds strength and peace as it prepares to bid farewell to former President George H.W. Bush.

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram of condolences on Wednesday to the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. In it, Parolin says Francis was saddened to learn of Bush’s death last week in Houston at age 94 and assured the family of his prayers.

The telegram says: “Commending President Bush’s soul to the merciful love of Almighty God, His Holiness invokes upon all who mourn his passing the divine blessings of strength and peace.”

Funeral services for Bush are planned for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.


12:15 a.m.

Washington is bidding its final farewell to former President George H.W. Bush, his funeral at Washington National Cathedral drawing world envoys, the four remaining ex-presidents, and President Donald Trump.

The ceremony late Wednesday morning will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens alike. The Republican president oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, then lost re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton.

Joining American notables and representatives from more than a dozen countries is an electrician and fix-it man, Mike Lovejoy, who has worked at Bush’s Maine summer estate since 1990.

Bush’s remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose before burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.

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