Former Pope Benedict XVI dies aged 95: Vatican
Former Pope Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95 at his Vatican residence nearly a decade after stepping down due to ill health, BBC reported citing Vatican officials. Benedict led the Catholic Church for nearly eight years before resigning in 2013. He spent his final years in the Vatican in the Mater Ecclesiae convent, as per reports.
People can pay their respect in St. Peter's Basilica
"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," the Vatican's spokesperson said in a statement. Meanwhile, the Vatican announced that his body will be kept at St. Peter's Basilica, Italy, beginning January 2 for "the greeting of the faithful."
Vatican's Twitter post confirming his demise
“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 News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2022
Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/O5dxoPaVkT
Pope Emeritus's health condition deteriorated due to advancing age
The former pontiff had been ill for some time, and his health condition deteriorated due to his advancing age. On Wednesday, Pope Francis talked about Benedict's ill health and appealed to people during his final audience of the year at the Vatican to "pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict."
Who was Pope Benedict XVI?
On April 16, 1927, Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger in a Catholic family in the southern German state of Bavaria. World War II left an indelible impression on his childhood as the son of a police officer. He studied philosophy and religion at Munich University from 1946 until 1951 and was ordained as a priest the same year.
His tenure as Munich's archbishop was marred with controversies
During a large portion of Benedict's pontificate, the Catholic Church was subject to accusations, legal actions, and official reports investigating decades of priestly child abuse. The former Pope admitted earlier this year that mistakes had also been made in the handling of abuse allegations while he served as the archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.