Pope Benedict XVI Dies At 95 - First Pontiff In 600 Years To Resign
Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95, almost a decade after he stepped down because of his poor health. He was Pope for less than eight years, until he resigned in 2013. He was the first Pope to step down since Gregory XII in 1415.
James K.Jan 02, 202319 Shares393 Views
Pope Benedict XVI led the Catholic Church from 2005 until he stepped down in 2013. Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95on Saturday, three days after his successor, Pope Francis, told the world that he was very sick.
The Vatican said that Francis would be in charge of Benedict's funeral on Thursday in St. Peter's Square. On Monday, his body will be put on display at St. Peter's Basilica so that people can pay their respects.
Pope Francis led tributes to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Saturday, after he died in a Vatican monastery at the age of 95.
A statement from the Vatican says that Pope Benedict XVI died on Saturday. He was the first pope in almost 600 years to step down instead of staying in office for life.
Benedict's death ends a time in recent history that has never happened before: a time when there were two popes at the same time. This caused tensions between different groups in the Vatican.
It makes it easier for his successor, Pope Francis, to think about following Benedict's example and retiring at some point, which would have been impossible if there had been three popes.
Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer spoke highly of Benedict and said that his trip to the UK in 2010 was a historic event. Other world leaders, like Michael D. Higgins of Ireland, Emmanuel Macron of France, Giorgia Meloni of Italy, and Olaf Scholz of Germany, also paid tribute.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, said that he was a scholar, a pastor, and a man of God who would be remembered for his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met”.
Archbishop of Canterbury for the Anglicans, Justin Welby, said that Benedict was “one of the greatest theologians of his age”. During his weekly audience earlier this week, Pope Francis told the people that Benedict was "very sick" and asked them to pray for him.
Benedict was born in Germany in 1927 as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. He was a very conservative pope, and sexual abuse scandals in the church overshadowed his time in office. He stepped down as pope, leaving behind a reputation that was not always good.
He was born to a police officer and grew up in the countryside of Bavaria. At age 14, he joined the Hitler Youth, which was a requirement, and later served in the German army during World War II. Near the end of the war, he quit and was taken prisoner by US forces for a short time.
Later, he became a very important person in the Vatican. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he was Pope John Paul II's, right-hand man. He was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican for 24 years.
This was a department that used to be called the Inquisition. This job gave him the nickname "God's rottweiler." During his time in office, stories started to come out about sexual abuse by clergy and how it was covered up.
Critics said he didn't understand how bad the crimes were and how big the crisis was, which reached its worst point a few years after he became pope in April 2005.
In addition to the many accusations, lawsuits, and official reports about priests covering up sexual abuse, the Vatican was also rocked by the theft of confidential documents, many of which were later used in a story about alleged corruption.
Paolo Gabriele, who worked as the pope's personal butler, was found guilty of stealing the papers by a Vatican court in October 2012. He told the court that he did what he did to stop "evil and corruption."
Benedict's views on homosexuality and birth control were hard to change. He was very against liberation theology, which was a radical movement that started in South America in the 1960s and called for clergy to help the poor and the outcast.
In February 2013, he quit all of a sudden at the age of 85, making him the first pope to do so since the Middle Ages. This left the church in shock. He said at the time that he didn't have the strength to keep being the leader of the world's estimated 1.2 billion Catholics.
I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.- Pope Benedict XVI
He became Pope Emeritus and promised to stay "hidden from the world" by focusing on private prayer. He moved to a monastery in Vatican City to live out the rest of his life. There, he read, wrote letters and articles, had visitors, and played the piano.
But the former pope remained a strong voice for conservatives and a target for those who didn't agree with Francis's plans to change the church and focus on helping the poor. He often wrote letters, wrote articles, and gave interviews to talk about his ideas.
In April 2019, two months after Francis held a groundbreaking Vatican conference on sexual abuse, Benedict wrote a 6,000-word letter saying that abuse was caused by a culture of sexual freedom that started in the 1960s.
In January 2020, when Francis was thinking about letting married men become priests in certain situations, Benedict spoke out in favor of clerical celibacy.
In a book called "From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church," he wrote, “I cannot keep silent,” He said that priestly celibacy protected the church's mystery.
The controversy, which started right before The Two Popes, a movie about how friendly Benedict and Francis seem to be with each other, was shown on Netflix, showing that there were tensions between different Vatican camps.
Former Pope Benedict dies at the age of 95. He was the first pope to step down in 600 years when he did so in 2013. A spokesman for the Holy See said Saturday that he died in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, where he had been living since resigning.
This week, during his weekly general audience, Pope Francis told everyone that his predecessor was "very sick" and asked for prayers for him. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict was in charge of the Vatican's teaching office, then called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for almost 25 years (CDF).