Did not set foot in the new year. On the last day of 2022, former pope Benedict XVI passed away. He breathed his last at 9:34 a.m. Saturday at his residence in Vatican City. He was 95 years old at the time of his death.
The Pope’s body will lie in state at St. Peter’s Basilica from January 2 for fans to visit, the Vatican said. His funeral will be held with full dignity according to Vatican rites on January 5. Pope Francis will lead.
As the news of Benedict’s death spread, many people began to gather at the Vatican. British Prime Minister Rishi Shunuk, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and many state leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron expressed grief over the death of the former Pope.
Benedict was born on 16 April 1927 in Germany. His real name was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. In 2005, at the age of 78, he was elected as the Pope of the Vatican. In 2013, after leading the Catholic community from the Vatican for eight consecutive years, Benedict suddenly stepped down voluntarily. According to history, Pope Benedict was the only one since Gregory XII in 1415 to do so. He had given bad health as the reason for his resignation. It should be noted that it was during his tenure that the Vatican was accused of child abuse. The intense controversy that arose over this matter was a blow to Pope Benedict XVI.
However, the former pope spent the last few years of his life in seclusion, firmly away from controversy. He lived in the monastery of Mater Ecclesiae, located inside the Vatican grounds. His successor, Pope Francis, often visited there to inquire about his health.