Vatican City: Former Pope Benedict XVI passed away on Saturday at his Vatican residence, he was 95 years old.
Pope Benedict XVI was at the helm of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, when he resigned because of ailing health. In doing so he became the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
Benedict spent his last years at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican.
He was succeeded by Pope Francis
The Vatican informed that the body of the departed Pope will be placed in St Peter’s Basilica from January 2 for people to pay their last respects.
The funeral ceremony will be carried out on January 5 atn St Peter’s Square in Rome, it will be led by Pope Francis.
Tributes have started pouring in from around the world for the former Pope.
PM Modi in his Twitter account wrote “Saddened by the passing away of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who devoted his entire life to the Church and the teachings of Lord Christ. He will be remembered for his rich service to society. My thoughts are with the millions around the world who grieve his passing.”
Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni said that Pope Benedict “was a giant of faith and reason”.
British PM Rishi Sunak descibed the former pope as “a great theologian whose UK visit in 2010 was an historic moment for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Pope Benedict “worked with soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world” he added that his thoughts went out to Catholics of France and those around the world.
The German chancellor Olaf Scholz said for several people Pope Benedict was “a formative figure of the Catholic Church, a controversial personality and a clever theologian”.
Irish President Michael D Higgins said the former pope will be remembered for “his untiring efforts to find a common path in promoting peace and goodwill throughout the world”.