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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passes away on Saturday morning

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Central Loggia of St. Peter's Basilica on the day of his election (Photo credit: Vatican News)

The 95-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away at 9:34 AM (Vatican time) on Saturday in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.

“With sorrow, I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.  As of Monday morning, January 2, 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter's Basilica so the faithful can bid farewell," the Holy See Press Office announced.

The Press Office said that Pope Emeritus' health had worsened already for many days due to age.

Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor's worsening health

At the end of the year's General Audience on December 28, the Pope encouraged people to pray for the Pope Emeritus, who was "very ill," so that the Lord might console him and support him "in this witness of love for the Church until the end."

The Holy See Press Office will announce details of the funeral rite later.

He was born in Bavaria, a state in the south-east of Germany, on April 16, 1927, and died December 31, 2022.

Before he was elected as the Pope, his name was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger.

The Papacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lasted seven years, ten months, and nine days.

His reign was from April 19, 2005, to February 28, 2013.

He announced his resignation from the Petrine Ministry on February 11, 2013, due to his health declining because of old age, and became the first Pope to resign from office in nearly 600 years.

Within his papacy of about 8 years, Pope Emeritus Benedict made 24 Apostolic Visits abroad, participated in three World Youth Days and a World Meeting of Families, and wrote three encyclicals, an Apostolic Constitution, and three Apostolic Exhortations.

He summoned four Synods (2 Ordinary and 2 Extraordinary) and created 84 cardinals.

He declared 45 saints and 855 blessed, including his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

One of the key themes of his pontificate was to bring "God back to the center" in the world, where he said, " the faith is in danger of dying out" (Letter to the bishops of the whole world –March 10, 2009).

He often emphasized the need for the church’s purification. - With inputs from Vatican News


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