Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has passed away

Pope Francis will lead the funeral mass scheduled for January 5 in St. Peter’s Square. Joseph Ratzinger was the first pope to resign in 600 years

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on Saturday at the age of 95. The news has already been confirmed by the Vatican. Joseph Ratzinger had been in poor condition for several days.

“It is with heavy hearts that I announce the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesia monastery in the Vatican today at 9:34 a.m.,” a Vatican spokesman said.

The Vatican has already announced that Joseph Ratzinger’s ashes will be placed in the cremation chamber at St. Peter’s Basilica next Monday.

The funeral will take place on January 5th at 9:30 a.m. Rome time in St. Peter’s Square. Pope Francis will perform the ceremonies.

Joseph Ratzinger was born in 1927 and was Pope between 2005 and 2013, when he resigned and became Emeritus of the Diocese of Rome.

In his selection process, which required four votes to reach the white smoke, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the new pope. At that time, he defined himself as “a simple laborer in the Lord’s vineyard.”

During his tenure, there were many controversies in the past, from the Hitler Youth to his stances against abortion or gay rights. On many occasions he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse within the church.

Benedict XVI was a well-travelled pope with 26 trips, including to Portugal.

During the past week, the press has been reporting on such dire health that it is hoped that everything possible can be done to prevent death.

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Benedict XVI was accompanied by his personal secretary, Georg Ganswein, and four lay women without any vows or habit called Memoirs Domini de Communion und Liberation who assisted him in his daily activities.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis announced that his predecessor is “gravely ill” and asked the faithful to pray for Benedict XVI.

Joseph Ratzinger has appeared increasingly frail in recent months, moving around in a wheelchair, but continues to receive visitors. The last photographs, dated December 1, showed a frail and frail man.

Benedict XVI’s eight-year pontificate (2005-2013) was marked by many crises. And it was marked by pedophilia drama in the Church in early 2022, when it was revealed that the then-Pope had ignored sexual abuse cases against minors.

Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013 and became Emeritus of the Diocese of Rome. Francis’ predecessor was the first pope to resign in 600 years since Gregory XII in 1415.

He lived at the Mater Ecclesia monastery in the Vatican for about 10 years. In his conclusion, Benedict XVI cited the deterioration of his physical and mental health, which will worsen in 2020 due to a facial infection.

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