Pope Benedict XVI Passes Away At 95

Chisom Ndianefo
Pope Benedict XVI
Shutterstock | 650296

It's a gloomy day at Vatican City and the Catholic family worldwide as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away in the early hours of today, leaving behind a sea of admirers and spiritual followers worldwide. The late pope was a loud voice for protecting human rights and upholding the Catholic faith.

Keep reading for the details.

The Late Pope Benedict XVI

Benedict died at this residence early this morning, according to a statement from The Holy See via Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Office, on their official Twitter account, which reads.

"With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, Further information will be provided as soon as possible."

An Important Rite

More details also revealed that the late pope's remains would be displayed at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, from January 2 to allow people to perform "the greeting of the faithful" rite and honor the late religious leader.

The Funeral

Benedict will finally be laid to rest on Thursday, January 5, at 9:30 a.m. local time in St. Peter's square and will be conducted by Pope Francis, who succeeded the late priest. The funeral will reportedly be a solemn but sober ceremony with dignitaries in attendance.

Benedict's Sickness

On Wednesday, December 28, Pope Francis asked the audience for a special prayer in honor of the pope, who was very sick and bedridden at that time. The Vatican also confirmed Francis's news and said his health has deteriorated due to aging.

His Emergence

The late pope assumed his position back in 2005, serving as the head of the catholic church for about 8 years with his official residence in Vatican City. He succeeded Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005.

One Of The Oldest Pope

The Pope was 78 years old at the time of his coronation, making him one of the oldest popes to ever occupy that position. He was born in Germany and named Joseph Ratzinger.

The Unexpected

Benedict broke so many records including being the first pope to step down from his role in nearly 600 years unexpectedly. He, however, blamed it on his age.

"I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering."

Final Mass

Pope Benedict XVI
Flickr | Diocese of Gary

Upon stepping down, Benedict held his final mass in a room of 55,000 people at St. Peter's Square in 2013 at the age of 85 and thanked everyone for understanding his move to vacate the seat.

Benedict's Scandals

Benedict's papacy suffered two separate reports of sexual abuse by priests within the Irish Church, which led to the dismissal of nearly 400 priests. However, a church-commissioned report this January accused Benedict of failing to discipline some priests involved in sexual abuse cases while he served as archbishop of Munich, Germany, which he denied.