News Breaking news Pope Bene­dict XVI has died, aged 95

Pope Bene­dict XVI has died, aged 95

Pope Bene­dict XVI has died, aged 95, almost a decade after he stood down because of ail­ing health. He led the #Catholic Church for few­er than eight years until, in 2013, he became the first Pope to resign since Gre­go­ry XII in 1415.

Bene­dict spent his final years at the Mater Eccle­si­ae monastery with­in the walls of the Vat­i­can, where he passed away at 09:34 (08:34 GMT) on Saturday.

Pope Fran­cis will lead the funer­al on 5 January.The Vat­i­can said the body of the Pope Emer­i­tus will be placed in St Peter’s Basil­i­ca from 2 Jan­u­ary for “the greet­ing of the faithful”.

Bells rang out from #Munich cathe­dral and a sin­gle bell was heard ring­ing from St Peter’s Square in Rome after the for­mer pope’s death was announced.The head of the Catholic Church in Eng­land and Wales, Car­di­nal Vin­cent Nichols, said Pope Bene­dict was “one of the great the­olo­gians of the 20th century”.

In a state­ment, he said: “I remem­ber with par­tic­u­lar affec­tion the remark­able Papal Vis­it to these lands in 2010. We saw his cour­tesy, his gen­tle­ness, the per­cep­tive­ness of his mind and the open­ness of his wel­come to every­body that he met.”

Born Joseph Ratzinger in Ger­many, #PopeBene­dict was 78 when in 2005 he became one of the old­est popes ever elected.