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.