Pope Benedict XVI dies in a Vatican monastery on Saturday at the age of 95. On Saturday, Pope Francis presided over memorial services for his predecessor.
Francis led the customary vespers service before New Year’s Day in Saint Peter’s Basilica. “We are affected as we recollect him as such a magnificent person, so generous, and we feel such thanks in our hearts, thankfulness to god for giving him to the church, and to the world,” Francis said.
“Gratitude to him for all the good he did, especially in these last years of his life, and most of all for his witness of faith and prayer. Francis said, “Only God understands the worth of his sacrifices for the benefit of the church.
Pope Benedict passed away on Saturday, the Vatican announced, making him the first pope in almost 600 years to resign from office rather than keep the role for life.
The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Matteo Bruni, announced, “With sadness I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, died away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.”
According to Bruni, just after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on Saturday morning, Francis visited him.
According to Bruni, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s funeral will take place on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. local time in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. Pope Francis will preside over the funeral.
According to Vatican News, the former pope’s body will lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning on Monday for the faithful to say their final farewells. His funeral will be “modest,” as requested by the Pope Emeritus, Bruni stated.
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Days after Pope Francis urged the faithful to pray for him, stating that he was “extremely unwell,” word of Pope Benedict’s passing broke. His health had been deteriorating for a while.
Pope Benedict’s announcement to resign as pope on February 11, 2013, citing his “advanced age,” astounded the Catholic people and religious authorities all over the world.
The retiring pope pledged to be “hidden” from the world in his goodbye speech, but he continued to speak up on religious issues in the years after his resignation, fueling divisions within the Catholic Church.
When Was Pope Benedict?
For many years, Pope Benedict was a significant figure in the Catholic Church. He was the son of a police officer and was born in Germany in 1927 as Joseph Ratzinger. He received his priestly ordination in 1951, was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 1977, and later worked as Pope John Paul II’s top theological advisor.
His appointment as head of the Vatican body that regulates “the teaching on the faith and morality throughout the Catholic world,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, in 1981 was one of his most major career advancements.
As a result of his efforts to repress the liberation theology movement, religious plurality, challenges to conventional beliefs regarding subjects like homosexuality, and calls to ordain women as priests, Ratzinger earned the nickname “Cardinal No.” In April 2005, after the passing of Pope John Paul II, he was chosen.
In comparison to his successor, Pope Francis, who has taken steps to soften the Vatican’s stance on abortion and homosexuality as well as taking more action to address the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the church in recent years and tarnished Benedict’s legacy, he was known to be more conservative.
In an open letter published in April 2019, Pope Benedict addressed the sex abuse epidemic and asserted that it was partly sparked by the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the easing of the church’s moral precepts.
In January 2020, as he debated whether or not to permit married men to become priests in some circumstances, Pope Benedict was compelled to disassociate himself from a book widely perceived as undermining Francis. The “From the Depths of Our Hearts” book argues in favour of the Catholic Church’s long-standing practise of priestly celibacy. Benedict later explained that he had only contributed one piece of the text, despite first being named as a co-author.
Following the release of a Church-commissioned inquiry investigating abuse by Catholic clergy there, Pope Benedict came under scrutiny for his tenure between 1977 and 1982 as the archbishop of Munich and Freising.
According to the investigation, he knew about four incidences of child sexual assault when he was in office, including two that happened while he was in charge, but did nothing about them. Benedict had attended a meeting about Priest X, a perpetrator of abuse, it was also discovered. After the study was made public, Benedict fought back against claims that he was aware of the priest’s abuser status in 1980.
Despite his flaws, Benedict said in a letter made public by the Vatican in the midst of the controversy that he was “of good cheer” as he faced “the final judgement of my life.” He also apologised to assault victims in general.
‘Giant of Faith And Reason’
Following his passing, world leaders paid tribute to the former pope. The head of the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, declared that he is “mourning” the late pope.
Welby said in a statement on Saturday that Pope Benedict was “one of the greatest theologians of his century; dedicated to the faith of the Church and stalwart in its defence.”
He looked to Jesus Christ, the manifestation of the invisible God, in everything, not least in his writing and preaching. It was crystal evident that Christ served as the foundation for his thoughts and prayers.
The first pope to do so since the fifteenth century, Pope Benedict made the brave and humble decision to resign in 2013. By freely making this decision, he acknowledged the universal human imperfection.
The Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, stated that he will remember the former pope with “love and gratitude.”
“Saddened to read of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s passing,” tweeted Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, on Saturday. “Europe weeps for him. Peace be upon him.
According to the letter posted on the Moscow Patriarchate’s official website, Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, informed Pope Francis on Saturday that he had learned of Benedict’s demise with “sorrow.”
Benedict led the Roman Catholic Church during a challenging historical era that was characterised by numerous internal and external problems. “His Holiness’s many years of life defined a complete epoch in the history of the Roman Catholic Church,” Kirill stated of Benedict.
In an effort to “overcome the sometimes bitter residue of the past,” Kirill noted that relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church have “improved tremendously” during Benedict’s leadership.
He said, “I send my condolences to you and the flock of the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Following Benedict’s passing, the Dalai Lama sent his condolences to Catholic Church faithful on Sunday.
He wrote, “I pray for our spiritual brother and extend my condolences to the Catholic Church members.”
We may learn from Pope Benedict’s life and do our part to promote religious harmony and international peace at a time when tensions are rising in many parts of the world.
The late pope “will be remembered as a distinguished theologian, with a lifetime of dedication to the Church, motivated by his ideals and faith,” according to US President Joe Biden.
In his reflection on his encounter with Benedict at the Vatican in 2011, Biden—the second Catholic to hold the office of President of the United States—mentioned “his compassion and welcome as well as our insightful talk.”
“The need for global solidarity is as vital as ever, if all people are to live in a way that is worthy of their dignity, as he said during his 2008 visit to the White House. May his emphasis on the ministry of compassion serve as an example to us all in the future, Biden said.
Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of Britain, also paid respects. Sunak tweeted on Saturday, “I am heartbroken to read about the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.”
His 2010 visit to the UK was momentous for both Catholics and non-Catholics alike in our nation. He was a wonderful theologian.
Giorgia Meloni, the new prime minister of Italy, expressed her appreciation for the late pope. “Benedict XVI was a titan of intellect and religion. He dedicated his life to the Catholic Church as a whole and “spoke and will continue to speak with the spiritual, cultural, and intellectual depth of his Magisterium to the hearts and minds of men,” she tweeted on Saturday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in charge of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, referred to the former pope as “a firm protector of genuine Christian principles.”