Today, Saturday, an announcement was made by a Vatican spokesman that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had passed away at the age of 95.
In a statement given today, the spokesman declared Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had passed away peacefully at 9:34 local time within “Mater Ecclesia” monastery in Vatican City.
Moving forward, the Vatican has announced that an open viewing of the deceased will be held at St. Peter’s Basilica for all to witness as of Monday next week.
On February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI made history when he became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years due to health issues. His announcement broke centuries-old precedent and sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church.
Global leaders hastened to share their condolences at the passing of the former Pope, with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni lauding him as a “towering figure of faith and reason.”
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, applauded Benedict XVI’s dream for a “more unified world,” expressing his admiration for these efforts.
With profound grief, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his sorrow over the death.
Joseph Ratzinger, also known as Benedict XVI, was born on April 16th 1927 in the small town of Markt in Bavaria, Germany.
Situations and crises
In 2005, he was appointed to the highest office in the Catholic Church as Pope – the first German to do so since AD 1100.
After taking office, Benedict XVI made it clear he sought to unify the Christian Church and engage in interreligious dialogue – even though his stance on many issues was often strict.
Conversely, Benedict XVI’s tenure is stained by the reprehensible scandal of child sexual abuse within churches.
Following a request from the Catholic Church, a German legal office conducted an investigation in January 2022 and determined that during his tenure as head of the German diocese in the 1980s, Pope Francis had failed to take any action to prevent priests from sexually abusing children.
Pope Benedict XVI expressed his “shock and shame” after learning of the report from German prosecutors. Despite this, he firmly rejected any accusations that would implicate him in these offenses.
In a damning report, the Westphalian Spilker-Wasel office held the former pontiff accountable for failing to take any punitive measures against four priests accused of sexual abuse towards minors.