Former Pope Benedict XVI, first to resign in 600 years, dies at 95

  • Former Pope Benedict XVI passed away at 9:34 am on Saturday at the age of 95 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican

Livemint
Updated31 Dec 2022
Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95
Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95(AFP)

Former Pope Benedict XVI has passed away at the age of 95, the Vatican announced in a statement. Pope Benedict XVI passed away at 9:34 am on Saturday, 31 December. In a statement, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that former Pope Benedict died in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. In 2013, former Pope Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

"With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible," the spokesman said in a written statement.

The Vatican said Benedict’s remains would be on public display in St. Peter’s Basilica starting Monday for the faithful to pay their final respects.

A day ago, on 30 December, the Vatican had announced that Pope Benedict’s condition was stable and he had even participated in the private mass in his room. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s health had declined a few days ago. In a medical bulletin, the Vatican announced that Benedict had been able to rest well for a second night.

“He also participated in the celebration of Holy Mass in his room yesterday afternoon," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. "At present his condition is stationary.”

On Wednesday, incumbent Pope Francis revealed that his 95-year-old predecessor was “very ill” and he went to see him in his home in the Vatican Gardens. Pope Francis also called for prayers for Benedict, resulting in an outpouring of messages of solidarity from rank-and-file Catholics and cardinals alike.

In 2013, Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to resign, saying he no longer had the strength of body or mind to lead the then 1.2-billion-member Catholic Church. His resignation paved the way for Francis' election.

(With agency inputs)

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