Pope Francis pays homage to ‘beloved’ Benedict

Pope Francis pays homage to ‘beloved’ Benedict
Pope Francis pays homage to ‘beloved’ Benedict

Pope Francis pays homage to ‘beloved’ Benedict.

In a New Year’s Day liturgy at the Vatican, Pope Francis praised the “beloved” Benedict XVI on Sunday, one day after the 95-year-old pontiff passed away.

“Today we entrust the beloved pope emeritus Benedict XVI to the most holy mother (the Virgin Mary), to accompany him in his passage from this world to God,” Francis said.

Benedict, a conservative scholar who in 2013 resigned from his position as pope for the first time in six centuries, passed away on Saturday at his residence in a monastery on the Vatican premises.

Pope Francis pays homage to ‘beloved’ Benedict.

His remains will be transferred on Monday morning to St. Peter’s Basilica, where they will lie in state for three days before Francis officiates his burial on Thursday.

He will be buried in the papal mausoleum beneath St. Peter’s Basilica following the ritual, which the Vatican described as “solemn yet simple.”

Although Benedict was a more contentious figure, a million faithful and heads of state from all over the world attended John Paul II’s last papal funeral in 2005.

Although he was a brilliant theologian, his steadfast defense of traditional values alienated many Catholics. He also struggled as pope to assert his authority over the church as it battled a number of crises, including clerical s*x abuse.

Benedict was complimented for his “devotion to the Church” by US President Joe Biden, a fervent Catholic, and by Russian President Vladimir Putin for being a “defender of traditional Christian principles.”

His passing put an end to the unique coexistence of Benedict and Francis, two “men in white,” within the boundaries of the little city-state.

Benedict’s health had been deteriorating for a while, and he had nearly disappeared from the public eye when the Vatican announced on Wednesday that things had gotten worse.

Francis praised his “dearest” predecessor at a liturgy on New Year’s Eve on Saturday, calling him “so noble, so gentle.”

Francis, 86, has hinted that if he were unable to perform his duties, he might follow Benedict’s lead and resign.

In July, when he had knee issues that made him dependent on a wheelchair, he acknowledged that he needed to slow down or consider moving to the side.

The Argentine also disclosed earlier in December that he had signed a letter of resignation when he assumed office in the event that his health prevented him from performing his duties.

The first German pope of the modern era, Benedict was 78 years old when he assumed office. He was born on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria.

On Saturday in Marktl, where a special mass was scheduled at the church where he was baptized, flags on the town hall flew at half-mast.

Local resident Karl Michael Nuck, 55, praised Benedict for retiring and defended his record while stating that his death “was probably a deliverance.”

As a senior cardinal in the Catholic hierarchy and someone who had known John Paul II for a long time, Benedict was a leading candidate to become pope in 2005. However, he later remarked that his election had felt “like the guillotine.”

Benedict was a cat lover who loved to study and play the piano, in contrast to his successor Francis, a Jesuit who takes great pleasure in being among his flock.

Although he had served as the top enforcer of doctrine, earning the nickname “God’s Rottweiler,” he failed to control various scandals in the church while he was pope.

Although opponents claimed Benedict did not go far enough in confronting the issue and decades of cover-ups, Benedict was the first pope to meet victims of clerical child s*x abuse.

Other scandals included remarks that infuriated the Muslim community, a money-laundering scandal at the Vatican bank, and a personal humiliation in 2012 when his butler disclosed confidential documents to the public.

Benedict resigned, but he continued to represent the church’s conservative wing.

According to Italian Vatican observer Marco Politi, those who opposed Francis’ more liberal stance “lost a live emblem” with his passing.

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