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Ex-Pope Benedict buried in Vatican



Pope lying in state

Former Roman Catholic head, Pope Benedict XVI, has been buried.

He was buried in Vatican City on January 5 after a funeral witnessed by many Catholic faithful and some prominent world leaders. About 4,500 priests took part in the funeral Mass and were joined by about 500 bishops and 125 cardinals.

Joseph Alois Ratzinger, the 95-year old Pontiff, died on December 31, 2022 at his residence at Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae, Vatican news had said in a tweet.

Benedict, a German, was the pope between 2005 and 2013 when he resigned due to age and health issues. He was known as Benedict XVI while in office after succeeding Pope John Paul.

He was the first pope to resign since 1415 when Gregory XII quit the position.


Pope Benedict XVI

Benedict was laid to rest with a Requiem Mass in St Peter’s Square.

About 50,000 mourners gathered in the square to witness the funeral presided over by his successor, Pope Francis.

Pope Francis, who arrived at the event in a wheelchair, took his homily from Luke 23:46, which says “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit, and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

The reigning pope prayed that Benedict’s joy would be complete meeting Jesus face-to-face.

He said, “May those merciful hands find his lamp alight with the oil of the Gospel that he spread and testified to for his entire life.

“God’s faithful people, gathered here, now accompany and entrust to Him the life of the one who was their pastor.

“We want to do this with the same wisdom, tenderness and devotion that he bestowed upon us over the years. Together, we want to say: Father, into your hands we commend his spirit.

“Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be complete as you hear his voice, now and forever!”

Pope Benedict

The funeral was attended by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, President Sergio Mattarella, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Queen Malthilde of Begiuim and King Philippe.

It was the first time in centuries that a living pope would preside over the funeral of a dead pope.

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