Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI deathdied at the age of 95 on the last day of 2022. He passed away at the Vatican monastery, Mater Ecclesiae, where he spent his final years. He is known as the first Pope who resigned from his position since Pope Gregory XII in the 15th century. The Vatican has announced that from 2 January, the body of Pope Benedict will remain in St Peter’s Basilica for “the greeting of the faithful.” The funeral will be led by Pope Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis on 5 January. The current pope has called Pope Benedict a kind and noble man and a gift to their church.
BBC News reports:
Former Pope Benedict XVI has died, aged 95, almost a decade after he stood down because of ailing health.
He led the Catholic Church for fewer than eight years until, in 2013, he became the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
Benedict spent his final years at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery within the walls of the Vatican where he passed away at 09:34 (08:34 GMT) on Saturday.
His successor Pope Francis will lead the funeral on 5 January.
The Vatican said the body of the Pope Emeritus will be placed in St Peter’s Basilica from 2 January for “the greeting of the faithful”.
Bells rang out from Munich cathedral and a single bell was heard ringing from St Peter’s Square in Rome after the death was announced.
In his first public comments since news of Pope Benedict’s death broke, Pope Francis called him a gift to the church, describing him as a noble and kind man.
At a New Year’s Eve service at the Vatican he paid tribute to his “dearest” predecessor, emphasising “his sacrifices offered for the good of the church”.
The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said Pope Benedict was “one of the great theologians of the 20th century”.
In a statement he said: “I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met.”
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Photo by Catholic Church England and Wales