Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, has been reported to have passed on at age 95, after prolonged ailments that forced him to resign his position from the church.
The clergyman was said to have died in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Italy.
As gathered the pope died at 9:34 AM on Saturday, barely nine years after resigning from the Petrine ministry on health ground.
The church announced his demise through a statement released to newsmen, describing his demise as big loss to the Christians globally.
According to the statement: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. As of Monday morning, 2 January 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.”
Before his death, news of worsening health condition which was due to his advancing age, had been on for several days.
Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor’s worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year.
The Pope had invited people to pray for the Pope Emeritus, who was “very ill,” so that the Lord might console him and support him “in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”
Following this invitation, prayer initiatives sprung up and multiplied on all continents, along with an outpouring of messages of solidarity and closeness from secular leaders.