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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has passed on

The Holy See Press Office announced that the 95-year-old Pope died at 9:34 am in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on Saturday.

He had chosen the Ecclesiae Monastery 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,” Vatican News quoted the official statement.

For days, the Pope’s health had worsened due to advancing age, as the Press Office had reported in its updates on 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 Dec. 28.

He had invited people to pray for Pope Emeritus, who he said was very ill, so 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.

Funeral plans will be announced in the next few hours by the Holy See Press Office.

According to Wikipedia, Pope Benedict XVI was a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013. Benedict’s election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II.

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