Rome Newsroom, Dec 31, 2022 / 13:28 pm (CNA).
The Vatican on Saturday evening published the Spiritual Testament of Benedict XVI, written on Aug. 29, 2006, one year and four months into his pontificate. Each pope wri… […]
Bishops of England, Scotland, and Wales line up to kiss Pope Benedict XVI’s ring at Oscott College in Birmingham, central England, on Sept. 19, 2010, where he later addressed bishops. / Photo by MATT CARDY/AFP via Getty Images
CNA Newsroom, Dec 31, 2022 / 14:55 pm (CNA).
The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales led tributes to the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, hailing him as one of the great theologians of the 20th century.
In a statement released Dec. 31, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Pope Benedict. He will be remembered as one of the great theologians of the 20th century.
“I remember with particular affection the remarkable papal visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind, and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met.
“He was through and through a gentleman, through and through a scholar, through and through a pastor, through and through a man of God — close to the Lord and always his humble servant.
“Pope Benedict is very much in my heart and in my prayers. I give thanks to God for his ministry and leadership.”
Pope Benedict XVI famously visited the U.K. in 2010, where he celebrated Mass at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow; led a prayer vigil for young people at Hyde Park, London; and ended his visit with the beatification of John Henry Newman at Cofton Park, Birmingham.
The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, described the late pope emeritus as a “shy and scholarly man” in a statement released Dec. 31.
Bishop Gilbert said: “With the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict, we lose one of the leading Catholic figures of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of our own.
“By nature, a shy and scholarly man and by profession a priest-theologian, he found himself drawn ever more into public life as archbishop of Munich, as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, and finally as pope, the first German since the end of the Second World War to attain world pre-eminence.
“He once wrote: ‘My basic intention has been to expose the real core of the faith underneath the encrustations, and to give this core its true power and dynamism. This has been the constant direction of my life.’ His full stature will surely emerge increasingly. May he rest in peace.”
The U.K. prime minister and King Charles III also added their voices to the tributes paid to the late pope emeritus.
Following the announcement of his death, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “I am saddened to learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He was a great theologian whose UK visit in 2010 was an historic moment for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country.”
I am saddened to learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
He was a great theologian whose UK visit in 2010 was an historic moment for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country.
My thoughts are with Catholic people in the UK and around the world today.
Rome Newsroom, Dec 31, 2022 / 13:54 pm (CNA).
The Vatican published Benedict XVI’s spiritual testament on Saturday night in which the late pope underlined “the reasonableness of faith.”“What I said before to my co… […]
Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA praised Servant of God Vincent Capodanno at a memorial Mass marking the 55th anniversary of the death of the heroic chaplain Sept. 6, 2022. / Courtesy of Archdiocese fo… […]
Pope Francis presides at the end of year Vespers and Te Deum prayer at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Dec. 31, 2022. / Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images
Rome Newsroom, Dec 31, 2022 / 10:33 am (CNA).
Pope Francis gave thanks for the good works and sacrifices of Benedict XVI, hours after the pope emeritus’ death on Saturday at the age of 95.
“The thought goes spontaneously to the dearly beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who left us this morning. With emotion we remember his person, so noble, so kind,” Pope Francis said at a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31.
In his first public comments since the pope emeritus’ death, Francis said: “We feel in our hearts so much gratitude: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him, for all the good he accomplished, and especially for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his retired life.”
“Only God knows the value and strength of his intercession, of his sacrifices offered for the good of the Church,” he said.
Pope Francis addressed the news of Benedict’s death during a first Vespers liturgy for the vigil of the Jan. 1 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
Before the start of the liturgy, Catholics in attendance prayed a rosary for the repose of the soul of Benedict XVI.
Benedict’s death, at the age of 95, was announced in Rome on Dec. 31. His body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica from the morning of Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.
Pope Francis will preside over the pope emeritus’ funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Square at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2023. He will be buried in the Vatican crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tonight there is Eucharistic adoration and vespers inside St. Peter’s Basilica presided over by Pope Francis.
First Vespers was prayed at the Vatican in anticipation of the Jan. 1 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The prayer service also included the singing of the “Te Deum,” a Latin hymn of thanksgiving from the early Church.
Pope Francis, who turned 86 earlier this month, arrived at the basilica in a wheelchair before presiding over the liturgy and delivering a homily.
Benedict XVI was remembered in the vigil’s prayer intentions.
Members of the Roman Curia and the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican were also present inside the basilica, where an estimated 8,000 people gathered in prayer on the last day of 2022.
It is Pope Francis’ custom to visit the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square following first Vespers on New Year’s Eve. Last year, his visit was canceled to prevent crowds from gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on God being born “of a woman,” which was made possible through Mary’s “yes” to the divine plan for Jesus’ birth.
“Let us not take the mystery of divine motherhood for granted,” he said. “Let us be amazed by the choice of God, who could have appeared in the world in a thousand ways showing his power, and instead wanted to be conceived in full freedom in Mary’s womb, wanted to be formed for nine months like any child, and finally be born of her, born as a woman.”
“Let us not pass over this quickly, let us stop to contemplate and meditate on it, for here is an essential feature of the mystery of salvation,” the pope said.
The prayer service concluded with the singing of the Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles.”
Pope Benedict XVI visits the tomb of the late Pope John Paul II in the grotto beneath St. Peter’s Basilica after a meeting with young Catholics, in preparation of the XXI World Youth Day at the Vatican April 6, 2006. / Photo by ARTURO MARI/AFP via Getty Images
Vatican City, Dec 31, 2022 / 10:00 am (CNA).
Benedict XVI will be buried in the crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican said Saturday afternoon.
Benedict’s death, at the age of 95, was announced in Rome on Dec. 31. His body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica from the morning of Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, until his funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Jan. 5, 2023.
The tombs in the Vatican crypt are close to the remains of the Catholic Church’s first pope, St. Peter the Apostle.
Benedict XVI’s remains will stay at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery until Jan. 2, 2022, the Vatican said. No official visits or public prayers are planned.
His body will lie in state from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2023, and from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 4, 2023, in St. Peter’s Basilica, where members of the public may pay their final respects.
The funeral Mass on Jan. 5, 2023, will take place at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square. Attendance is free and requires no reservation.
At the end of the Mass, there will be the Final Commendation and valediction before Benedict XVI’s coffin is carried to the Vatican crypt for burial.
The Pontifical Academy for Life called the late pope emeritus, “one of the most influential theological personalities of the twentieth century, constantly striving to make the faith understandable and reliable for modern man.”
The faithful can follow Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy as told through photos here.
Dec. 31, 4:59 a.m.: Benedict XVI dead at 95: The ‘humble worker’ and his legacy of hope to the Catholic Church
Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was elected pope on April 19, 2005, and took the name Benedict XVI. Eight years later, on Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old shocked the world with the announcement — made in Latin — that he was resigning from the papacy. It was the first resignation of a pope in nearly 600 years. He cited his advanced age and lack of strength as unsuitable for the exercise of his office.
However, the enormous legacy of his theologically profound contributions to the Church and the world will continue to be the source of reflection and study.
Dec. 31, 4:44 a.m.: BREAKING: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at age 95
His death was announced in Rome on Dec. 31. His funeral Mass will be held on Jan. 5, 2023, in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican said.
The Vatican press office director, Matteo Bruni, said 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.”
Benedict XVI’s body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning on Jan. 2, 2023.