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Pope Benedict XVI dies at aged 95

Pope Benedict XVI dies at aged 95

Last updated on October 11th, 2023 at 04:32 pm

Dignitaries and religious leaders paid tribute to Pope Benedict XVI, who died Saturday in a Vatican convent at the age of 95.

According to a Vatican statement, Benedict XVI, the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign rather than hold office for life, died Saturday.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away today at 9:34 a.m. at the Mater Ecclesiae convent in the Vatican,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office.

Bruni said the funeral of the former Pope will be held on Thursday in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City at 9:30 a.m. local time.

The funeral will be conducted by Pope Francis. The body of the former pope will be laid to rest in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican from Monday for the faithful to bid farewell to, Vatican News reported on Saturday.

Bruni said that, according to the pope emeritus’ wishes, his funeral would be “simple”.

News of his death came days after Pope Francis asked worshipers to pray for Benedict, saying he was “severely ill”.

“I would like to ask all of you a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who supported the Church in his silence. He is very sick.

We ask the Lord to comfort and sustain him to the end in this witness of love for the Church,” Pope Francis said during Wednesday’s general audience. His health had been declining for a while.

Benedict XVI stunned Catholics and religious experts around the world on February 11, 2013, when he announced his intention to step down as pope on the grounds of “advanced age”.

In his farewell address, the outgoing pope vowed to ‘hide himself’ from the world, but he has continued to speak out on religious issues in the years since his retirement, contributing to tensions. in the Catholic Church.