Unfortunately, the Vatican announced the death of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI.
“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.
Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/O5dxoPaVkT
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2022
Benedict made history by becoming the first pope to leave the position without dying in 600 years when he retired in 2013. He said at that time that he was no longer up to performing the tasks of the office and the more liberal Pope Francis was elected by the College of Cardinals to replace him.
The Vatican had announced that his health had been worsening. Pope Francis had asked for prayers for him on Wednesday, saying he was “very ill.”
World leaders have weighed in with praise for Pope Benedict, praising him for his devotion to the church and to peace.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called Benedict “a giant of faith and reason.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called him a special leader who was a “formidable figure” and a clever theologian. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would be remembered for his “rich service” to society.
Before he became Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger was known for his scholarly theological writings that greatly influenced the Church.
Pope Benedict was a humble, faithful man and intellect who reminded us every day —in word and deed—the importance of a life lived in service to God.
May we lift him up in prayer and may he rest in God’s eternal peace.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) December 31, 2022