A little over ten years after stepping down due to declining health, the former Pope Benedict XVI passed away at the age of 95.
After less than eight years in office, Francis resigned as Pope in 2013, becoming the first pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415.
Benedict passed away on Saturday at 09:34 (08:34 GMT) after spending his final years in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery inside the Vatican.
The burial will be officiated by his successor, Pope Francis, on January 5.
The body of the Pope Emeritus will be deposited in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning on January 2 for “the welcoming of the faithful,” according to the Vatican.
Munich’s church bells sounded out, and St. Peter’s Square in Rome’s heard a solitary bell ring.
Pope Francis referred to Pope Benedict as a gift to the church and described him as a great and loving man in his first remarks made in public following the announcement of his passing.
He honored his “dearest” predecessor at a New Year’s Eve service at the Vatican, praising “his sacrifices rendered for the sake of the church.”
Pope Benedict was referred to as “one of the great theologians of the 20th century” by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
In a statement, he said: “I recall the wonderful papal visit to these lands in 2010 with particular affection. We observed his decency, compassion, perceptiveness, and openness to everyone that he encountered.
The former pope’s 2010 visit to the UK, according to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was “a great theologian whose UK visit was a historic event for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country.”
King Charles III expressed his “great regret” at learning of Pope Benedict’s passing and remembered his 2009 visit to the Vatican visit with “fondness.”
I also think back on his ongoing initiatives to further world peace and goodwill as well as to improve ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
Pope Benedict “will be remembered as a distinguished theologian, with a lifetime of dedication to the Church, motivated by his convictions and faith,” according to Joe Biden, the second Catholic to hold the office of US president. The former pontiff stated during a 2008 visit to the White House that “the need for global solidarity is as important as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity.” Mr. Biden specifically mentioned this statement.
Pope Benedict “worked with spirit and intelligence for a more brotherly world,” according to French President Emmanuel Macron, who also expressed his condolences to Catholics in France and around the world.
Pope Benedict, according to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, “was a giant of faith and reason.”
He sacrificed his life for the good of the entire Church and spoke to men’s hearts and minds with the depth of his Magisterium in terms of spirituality, culture, and intelligence.
Pope Benedict, according to the German chancellor Olaf Scholz, was “a formative figure of the Catholic Church, a frank personality, and a smart theologian” for many people, not just in Germany.
The previous pope will be remembered for “his unceasing attempts to find a common path in promoting peace and kindness throughout the world,” Irish President Michael D. Higgins said.
Pope Benedict is “one of the greatest theologians of his age, dedicated to the truth of the Church and stalwart in its defence,” according to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
In his New Year’s address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin commended Pope Benedict as a “defender of genuine Christian principles.”