Pope Francis praises Benedict ahead of funeral

STORY: "I would like us to join with those here beside us who are paying their respects to Benedict XVI," Francis told several thousand people at the start of his weekly audience at the Vatican, in which he is concluding a catechesis, or religious teaching.

On Thursday (January 5), Francis will preside at Benedict's funeral in St. Peter's Square before a crowd that Vatican police say will number in the tens of thousands.

Benedict will be buried according to his wishes in the same spot in the crypts under St. Peter's Basilica where Pope John Paul II was originally interred in 2005 before his body was moved up to a chapel in the basilica in 2011.