Former Pope Benedict, who in 2013 became the first pope in 600 years to resign, died today, December 31, at the age of 95 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, where he had lived since his resignation. him said a spokesman for the Holy See.
“It is with pain that I inform you that Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 a.m. at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible,” the spokesman said in a written statement.
His body will be laid to rest from Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican has some strict rituals for what happens after the death of a sitting pope, but these rituals are not publicly known about a former pope.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis revealed during his weekly general audience that his predecessor was “very ill” and asked that people pray for him.
For nearly 25 years, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict was the powerful head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, then known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).