Sad news from the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI has been confirmed dead at 95. As multiple outlets remind us, the former pontiff shocked the entire world when he made the decision to step down from his position back in 2013. This decision rocked the world because Pope Benedict XVI was the first to make this decision in over 600 years.
The Holy See issued a brief statement on Saturday morning confirming his passing.
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 Vatican revealed that his remains would stay at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome until January 2 in order to allow “the greeting of the faithful.”
Pope Benedict XVI was first elected to be the 256th pontiff back in 2005. He was 78 at the time. This made him the oldest individual to be elected to the position since 1730. Pope Benedict XVI held the position for seven years before he shocked the world by becoming the first pope to resign in 600 years. When he resigned he explained that he was no longer suited to lead because of his advanced aging.
Pope Benedict XVI Dead: His Funeral Will Be Unusual
According to The New York Times, a funeral for Pope Benedict XVI will be held on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square. The outlet went on to report a Vatican spokesman stated the service would be a “solemn but sober funeral.”
Unfortunately, the news didn’t come as a complete shock as Pope Francis revealed his predecessor was not well on Wednesday of this week. Pope Francis noted that Pope Benedict XVI was “very sick” and he needed “special prayer.”
“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.” pic.twitter.com/O5dxoPaVkT
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2022
Per NPR, Pope Benedict XVI’s funeral will be a bit unusual because he stepped down from his position. The outlet describes the funeral as “highly unusual” because the sitting pope, Pope Francis, will be presiding over the service.
In 2022, both a former British Monarch and a former Pope died – we lost Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI.
Last time this happened was 1830, when King George IV and Pope Pius VIII both died. pic.twitter.com/KnSpVlLYMz
— 𝙥𝙖𝙪𝙡𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙡𝙖.𝙤𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 (@pauloMDtweets) December 31, 2022
This funeral is being described as a “rare spectacle” and a true moment in history for the Vatican because typically the pontiff holds his position until he passes away. And, it is after his death that the next pontiff is elected.
Rest in peace, Pope Benedict XVI.
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