The Vatican Press Office confirmed today that Pope John Paul II is sending the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, as his personal representative to the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.

Cardinjal Sodano, who is rarely sent as a representative because of his top position and responsibilities at the Vatican, will participate at the funerals  of President Reagan scheduled  for Friday, June 11, in Washington DC.

The Italian press has commented on the appointment of Cardinal Sodano, saying it expresses the deep sympathy the Pontiff had for the former US President who established diplomatic relationship.