Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dies at 95, Funeral Plans Announced

Catholic Church England and Wales, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Vatican announced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at 9:34 a.m. local time on Dec. 31, 2022.

The Pope Emeritus died at his residence in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where he lived since his 2013 resignation.

The Holy See Press Office issued this statement on the morning of Dec. 31:

“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 pay their respects.”

Pope Francis announced during his Wednesday General Audience on Dec. 28 that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was “very ill,” and requested “special prayers.”

“I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church,” Pope Francis requested. “Remember him – he is very ill – asking the Lord to console him, and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.”

Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni announced the funeral plans in a midday press conference.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral on Jan. 5, 2023 9:30 a.m. Central European Time (CET) in St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican said Saturday morning that the Pope Emeritus will be buried in the crypt underneath St. Peter’s Basilica.

Bruni also said the Pope Emeritus asked that “everything – including the funeral – be marked by simplicity, just as he lived his life.”

Eternal Rest, grant unto Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

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[See also: The Beautiful Christmas Letter Pope Benedict XVI Wrote to Baby Jesus as a Child]

[See also: Wow! Watch This Rare Video of Cardinal Ratzinger Playing the Piano]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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