Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, dies at the age of

(CNN) — Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, has died in Vatican City at the age of 95 after a period of ill health.

Benedict XVI, who was the first pontiff to resign from his position in nearly 600 years, died on Saturday, December 31, rather than hold office for life, according to a statement by Matteo Bruni.

News of his death came days after Pope Francis asked worshipers to pray for Benedict, saying he was “very ill”.

“I would like to ask everyone for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict who supports the Church in its silence. He is very ill. Let us ask the Lord to comfort him and in this testimony of love for the Church till the end Ask them to keep,” Francis told his general audience on Wednesday, December 28.

At the end of the general audience, Pope Francis visited Benedict at the Mater Ecclesia monastery in Vatican City, the Vatican said. A Vatican spokesman said on Wednesday 28 December that there had been a “decline due to his ageing” in the past few hours, and that doctors were monitoring the situation.

His health was declining for some time.

Benedict XVI stunned Catholic believers and religious experts around the world on February 11, 2013, when he announced his intention to step down as pope, citing his “advanced age”.

In his farewell address, the then-outgoing pope vowed to remain “hidden” from the world, but continued to speak on religious matters in the years following his retirement, contributing to tensions within the Catholic Church.

He was considered more conservative than his successor, Pope Francis, who has taken steps to soften the Vatican’s position on abortion and homosexuality, as well as doing more to deal with the sex abuse crisis that has rocked the church in the past. dropped over the years.

In April 2019, Benedict XVI spoke out about the sexual abuse crisis in a public letter, claiming it was caused by the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the liberalization of the church’s moral teachings.

In January 2020, Benedict XVI was forced to distance himself from a book undermining Francis as he considered whether or not to allow married men to become priests in some cases. The book argued, “from the bottom of our hearts,” for the centuries-old tradition of priestly celibacy within the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI was originally listed as co-author, but later clarified that he had only contributed part of the text.

A year later, Benedict XVI came under fire for his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising between 1977 and 1982 following the publication of a report commissioned by the church into abuses by Catholic priests there.

The report found that, while in office, he was informed of four cases of sexual abuse involving minors, including two that occurred in his office, but failed to act. It was also revealed that Benedict XVI had attended a meeting regarding an impostor identified as Priest X. Following publication of the report, Benedict dismissed claims that he knew in the 1980s that this priest was an abuser.

In a letter released by the Vatican amid the controversy, Benedict wrote that he was “in good spirits” as he faced the “final judge of my life” despite his shortcomings. He also issued a general apology to survivors of the abuse.

Born in 1927 in the Bavarian town of Marktal am Inn, Benedict XVI, then known as Joseph Ratzinger, was the son of a local policeman.

Ordained a priest in 1951, he was made a cardinal in 1977 and later served as Chief Theological Adviser to Pope John Paul II. He was elected Pope in April 2005 after the death of John Paul II.

With reporting from CNN’s Richard Alan Greene and Hada Mesia.

Nation World News Desk
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