Former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies aged 95

After a battle with health issues brought on by his advanced age, former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has passed away.

In the early hours of New Year’s Eve, 95-year-old Benedict passed away in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City, which is located just outside of Italy.

The Vatican did not specify a cause of death, but Pope Francis, who is currently the Bishop of Rome, said publicly a few days ago that Benedict was “very sick.”

The morning of January 2 will see Benedict’s body on display in Saint Peter’s Basilica, “so the faithful can bid farewell,” a Vatican official said.

In spite of being elected pope in 2005, Benedict retired from the office in 2013 at the age of 85, citing his advancing years and frailty.

He was the first pope to leave office in 600 years. He surpassed Pope Leo XIII in longevity in 2020, however, making him the longest-reigning pope.

Benedict was referred to as “God’s Rottweiler” because of his steadfastly conservative Roman Catholic views and was regarded as one of the top theologians in the church during his time in office.

He vehemently opposed the promotion of women as priests, the secularization of the church, and the “normalization” of homosexuality.

He went back to his house and enrolled in a seminary, beginning his journey toward becoming the pope. He received his priestly ordination on June 29, 1951.

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