Former Pope Benedict XVI passes away at 95 in Vatican City

Former Pope Benedict XVI passes away at 95 in Vatican City

Benedict was 78 when in 2005 when he was elected Pope.

Former Pope Benedict XVI died at his Vatican residence at the age of 95, the Vatican announced on Saturday. He led the Catholic Church for about eight years until 2013 and was one of the oldest Popes to be ever elected. Born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany, Benedict was 78 when in 2005 when he was elected Pope. Besides being one of the oldest Popes, he was the first from Germany in over 1000 years to be elected as head of the Catholic Church in Vatican City.

Pope Benedict XVI was the first Pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

Bells rang out across the Vatican on Saturday after the death of former Pope Benedict was announced by a spokesman for the Holy See.

The Holy See Press Office announced that the Pope Emeritus died at 9:34 am on Saturday in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which he had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013.

“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 spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. “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 bid farewell.”

Former Pope Benedict XVI passes away at 95 in Vatican City
Pope Francis says predecessor Benedict 'very ill', prays for him in address

The health condition of the Pope Emeritus had worsened over the past several due to advancing age. Pope Francis had himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor's worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28th December.

Pope Francis visited him frequently and appealed to people to pray for the former Pope's health.

"Remember him, because he is very ill, asking the Lord to console and support him," Francis said on Friday.

Benedict had cited his declining physical and mental health back in 2013 during his decision to stand down as head of the worldwide Catholic church. The Pope Emeritus since lived a quiet life, rarely appearing in public.

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