Former Pope Benedict dies aged 95. Former Pope Benedict, who resigned in 2013 to become the first pope to do so in 600 years, passed away on Saturday at the age of 95 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, according to a spokesperson for the Holy See.
“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9.34am in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.
Former Pope Benedict dies aged 95
His body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning on Monday, according to the Vatican. The Vatican has extremely complex traditions for what occurs when the pope in charge passes away, but none are known to the general public for a past pope.
In his weekly general audience earlier this week, Pope Francis revealed that his predecessor was “extremely unwell” and requested prayers.
Benedict served as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the influential head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, formerly known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for nearly 25 years (CDF).
The former pope served as the church’s conservative standard-bearer, and some extreme traditionalists even refused to recognize Francis as a genuine Pope.
They have criticized Francis for his openness toward the LGBTQ+ community and Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church, claiming that both of these actions undermine traditional norms.