The 95-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on Saturday at 9:34 AM in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has returned to the Father’s House.
The Holy See Press Office announced that he died at 9:34 AM on Saturday morning in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the 95-year-old Pope Emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013.
“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.
As of Monday morning, 2 January 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can bid farewell.”
News of worsening health condition
Already for several days, the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus had worsened due to advancing age, as the Press Office had reported in its updates of the evolving situation.
Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor’s worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28 December.
He had invited people to pray for the Emeritus, who was “very ill”, so that the Lord might console him and support him “in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”
Following this invitation, prayer initiatives sprung up and multiplied on all continents, along with an outpouring of messages of solidarity and closeness from secular leaders.
In the next few hours, the Holy See Press Office will communicate the news of the funeral rite.
Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, German: [ˈjoːzɛf ʔaˈlɔʏzi̯ʊs ˈʁatsɪŋɐ]; 16 April 1927 – 31 December 2022) was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013.