Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of Benedict XVI this Thursday morning

Catholics are burying their pope emeritus this Thursday morning. According to the prefecture of Rome, some 100,000 people are expected at the Vatican for the funeral of Benedict XVI presided over by his successor Francis. From Monday to Wednesday, 195,000 faithful came to Saint Peter’s Basilica to pray before the remains of the German theologian, who died on Saturday at the age of 95 and whose renunciation in 2013 surprised the whole world.

The ceremony, “solemn but sober” according to the Vatican, should begin at 9:30 a.m., in the presence of many heads of state and government, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Joseph Ratzinger will then be buried, in private, in the crypt of the basilica where John Paul II rested until 2011, alongside 90 other popes. More than a thousand journalists from 30 countries have been accredited for the event and 1,000 police officers have been mobilized, as well as numerous Italian civil protection volunteers.

Only two delegations, Germany and Italy, have been officially invited by the Holy See, but many political leaders, religious dignitaries and crowned heads from all over the world have confirmed their presence. Among them, the King of the Belgians Philippe, the Italian, Polish and Togolese presidents, the former Queen Sophie of Spain or even the French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.

Benedict XVI’s coffin will be transferred at 8:50 a.m. from the basilica to St. Peter’s Square, where the rosary prayer will be recited. This will be followed by a mass of about two hours of Latin rite, in several languages, concelebrated by more than 4,000 cardinals, bishops and priests. Joseph Ratzinger having renounced his ministry before his death, his funeral will follow the liturgy reserved for the funerals of the popes, “with some differences”, explained the Holy See.

Read Also:  Argentina's Economy in Crisis: 5.1% GDP Drop and 14 Million Unemployed

National mourning in Portugal

In accordance with tradition, the cypress coffin in which Benedict XVI will rest will contain coins and medals minted during his pontificate, his pallium (liturgical garment) as well as a text briefly describing his pontificate, placed in a metal cylinder.

Such an event is a first in the recent history of the Catholic Church. In 1802, Pius VII had celebrated the funeral of Pius VI, who had died in exile in France three years earlier, but the latter had not renounced his charge. In Germany, the episcopal conference has invited the country’s churches to ring their bells at 11 a.m. in tribute to the Bavarian intellectual. Italy for its part lowered flags on public buildings, while Portugal declared a day of national mourning.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here