2 January 2023 |
Vatican News reports that 95-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, passed away on Saturday at 9:34 AM in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
The Holy See Press Office released a statement after his death, announcing:
“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, 2 January 2023, the body of the pope emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.”
Leaders around the world shared their impressions of the pope emeritus as they mourned his passing. The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said Pope Benedict was “one of the great theologians of the 20th century,” according to the BBC. He continued in a statement, saying, “I remember with particular affection the remarkable papal visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind, and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met.”
President Biden, being of Catholic faith himself, shared that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would “be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith.”
Other official statements mourning the Pope Emeritus were released by British prime minister Rishi Sunak, King Charles III, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Irish president Michael D Higgins, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Today marked the first day of three that the pope emeritus lay in state at St. Peter’s Basilica. The AP reports that Italian security officials had said at least 25,000–30,000 people would come on Monday. But by the end of the first day’s viewing, some 65,000 persons had passed by the bier, the Vatican said.
The funeral will be held Thursday morning, led by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square. As Benedict desired, the funeral will be marked by simplicity, the Vatican said when announcing the death on Saturday.