President Bush has left the White House to fly to Rome for Pope John Paul's funeral.
The president and first lady are leading a small U-S delegation that includes former presidents Clinton and the elder Bush along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Former President Carter also hoped to attend Friday's funeral. However, a spokesman for his center in Atlanta says Carter backed off when he was told the Vatican had limited the official delegation to five.
President Bush will also meet with Italy's prime minister and its president tomorrow before flying back to his Texas ranch this weekend.