Former Pope Benedict XVI dies

The expad Benedict XVI, a German theologian who shocked the world by resigning his pontificate in 2013, died on Saturday at the age of 95, the Vatican announced.

"It is with regret that I announce that the Pope emeritus Benedict XVI He passed away today at 9:34 a.m., in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery of the Vatican. As soon as possible, more information will be provided."said in a statement the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.

The Vatican also announced that the body of the emeritus pontiff will be exposed starting Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica. to be venerated by believers.

The health of the German theologian Joseph Ratzinger had deteriorated in recent days, although the Vatican indicated on Friday that he was in good condition. "stable" and that he had participated in the mass on Thursday in his room in the Vatican monastery.

The funeral of the 265th pope in history should be celebrated by his successor Francis, an unprecedented event in the two thousand year history of the Catholic Church.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, including heads of state and leaders of other religions.

His death puts an end to the unusual coexistence of two popes, both wearing white cassocks: the German Ratzinger, a brilliant ultra-conservative theologian and not very popular with the crowds, and the Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit who wanted a papacy dedicated to the poor. and the migrants.

On Wednesday, during the general audience, Francis asked to pray for the health of his predecessor, who was "very sick" and who he went to visit in his room.

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Ratzinger, the first German pope of the modern era, replaced in 2005 the charismatic John Paul II, who had been his right-hand man for a quarter of a century as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Holy Office of the Inquisition. .

His eight-year pontificate was marked by scandals and intrigues within the Church.

After resigning, Benedict XVI He promised to maintain an absolute retirement, without overshadowing his successor, Pope Francis.

But he was involved – in some cases, involuntarily, according to observers – in the campaigns of the ultra-conservative sectors that frown on the openings of the Argentine pontiff in the social field.

And at the beginning of 2022, he was affected by accusations that he covered up four cases of pedophilia when he was Archbishop of Munich, between 1977 and 1981.

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