Benedict XVI—Priest, Prefect, Pope, Rest In Peace| National Catholic Register

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95.

The Vatican made the announcement of his death at 10.30 am Rome time on Dec. 31 in a short statement translated into several languages.

“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,” Vatican press office director Matteo Bruni said. “Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” 

The Vatican added that from Jan. 2, the body of the Pope Emeritus will rest in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican “for the faithful to bid farewell.” 

Bruni later told reporters in a short press briefing that Benedict XVI’s funeral will be celebrated by Pope Francis at 9.30am on Thursday, Jan. 5, in St Peter’s Square. He also disclosed that the Pope Emeritus received last rites on Wednesday afternoon after the Holy Mass.

The health of the Pope Emeritus, who served as the 265th Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church from 2005 until his unexpected resignation in 2013, had been steadily declining. Pope Francis alerted the world to his worsening condition on Dec. 28, saying he was “very ill.” 

In recent years, he had experienced difficulty speaking and walking, although his mind remained alert and he continued to receive visitors at least until Dec. 2. One of the last major milestones of his life was to celebrate 70 years as a priest, on June 29, 2021. 

Benedict’s pontificate — which began with his election in April of 2005, succeeding Pope St. John Paul II, and ended with his almost unprecedented resignation in February of 2013 — was peppered by a series of trials including the clerical sex abuse crisis, the leaking of confidential papal documents, a Muslim backlash and communication mishaps. At the same time, these years marked a period of liturgical restoration that aimed to reverse the abuses of the past, the initiation of a process of reform of the Curia, most notably in the area of finance, and a continuation of the central themes of the post-conciliar New Evangelization of the Church that had been emphasized throughout John Paul II’s groundbreaking 25-year pontificate.

Benedict XVI—Priest, Prefect, Pope, Rest In Peace| National Catholic Register

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