Former Pope Benedict XVI Has Passed Away at Age 95

“With sorrow, I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” wrote Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office. “Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”

Former Pope Benedict XVI Has Passed Away at age 95

Former Pope Benedict XVI Has Passed Away at Age 95
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At 95 years old, former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on December 31. Pope Benedict was the first Pope in nearly 600 years to step down from his role as head pontiff in 2013.

The move was unexpected and shocked the world of Catholicism. News that the former Pope was sick was first revealed by his predecessor current Pope Francis on December 28.

Starting on January 2, Pope Benedict’s body will lay in St. Peter’s Basilica until Thursday when his funeral will begin at 9:30 a.m. local time.

According to The New York Times, the funeral is expected to be a “solemn but sober” event. Benedict served as the head of the Catholic Church for eight years before stepping down.

Former Pope Benedict XVI Has Passed Away at Age 95
Jeffrey Bruno /

Benedict was one of the oldest Cardinals to become Pope at the age of 78. It was ultimately his age that caused him to step down as pontiff.

“To love the church also means having the courage to take difficult decisions,” he said at the time.

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