Vatican, 31 December, 2022 / 12:53 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a leading theologian of the 20th century and the first pope to resign from office in nearly 600 years, has died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced.
His death was announced in Rome on Dec. 31.
“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,” Vatican press office director Matteo Bruni said. “Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”
Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, he was elected to the papacy in April 2005, taking the name Benedict XVI, after decades of service to the Catholic Church as a theologian, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, cardinal, and one of the closest collaborators of St. John Paul II, whom he succeeded as pope.
On Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old Benedict shocked the world with a Latin-language announcement of his retirement, becoming the first pope in 600 years to do so. He cited his advanced age and his lack of strength as unsuitable to the exercise of his office.