Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI funeral to be held Thursday in St. Peter’s Square, with Pope Francis presiding


Pope Francis will celebrate a funeral service for the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI next week after the retired pope passed away Saturday.

The Vatican announced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away Saturday at 9:34 a.m. He was 95 years old.  

Benedict’s body is currently being held in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City, where he spent the majority of his life post-papacy.

POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI DEAD AT 95, VATICAN SAYS

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis greets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a mass to create 20 new cardinals during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 14, 2015.
(REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo)

On Jan. 2, his body will be moved for viewing by the faithful to St. Peter’s Basilica. In accordance with tradition, the body of the deceased pope will be exhibited to the public to allow mourners to pray for the pontiff on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Jan. 5, Pope Francis will preside over the late pontiff’s funeral mass in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican stated. 

POPE BENEDICT’S VISION OF CATHOLICISM, VATICAN II, AND THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH ENDURE THROUGH HIS TEACHINGS

Pope Benedict XVI at his Vatican residence in November 1985, Italy.

Pope Benedict XVI at his Vatican residence in November 1985, Italy.
(Gianni GIANSANTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The service will be open to the public and the Vatican has provided contacts for Catholics worldwide wishing to concelebrate the mass remotely.

Benedict was elected to the papacy in 2005. He later claimed that he prayed he would not be chosen throughout the conclave but was forced to accept what he believed was God calling him to greater service

POPE BENEDICT XVI GIVES FAREWELL TO CARDINALS, PROMISES OBEDIENCE TO SUCCESSOR

Catholic clergyman, Cardinal, Germany Ratzinger taking office as Bishop of Munich - 1977

Catholic clergyman, Cardinal, Germany Ratzinger taking office as Bishop of Munich – 1977
(Claus Hampel / ullstein bild via Getty Images)

In February 2013, at 85 years old, Benedict became the first pope in centuries to resign from his post

“I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise [of the pontificate],” he said at that time. 

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Pope Benedict XVI gives Christmas Night Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 24, 2009, in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI gives Christmas Night Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 24, 2009, in Vatican City, Vatican.
(Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

From Pope Francis’ ascension onward, the former pontiff went by the title “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” but per canon law, exercised no authority over the church.

On June 29, 2021, Benedict celebrated the Platinum Jubilee — 70th anniversary — of his ordination into the priesthood



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