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Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at age 95

Posted January. 02, 2023 07:35,   

Updated January. 02, 2023 07:35


“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today in the Vatican,” said Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni. Former Pope Benedict XVI has died, aged 95, on Saturday (local time). As of Monday morning, the body of Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter's Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects. The mass will be held in St. Peter’s Square, presided by Pope Francis.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born in Germany and became the 265th pope in 2005 after Pope John Paul II. He resigned from the papacy in 2013 due to health issues. The resignation was the first time in 598 years since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

Pope Benedict XVI, born in Bayern of Germany, studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and Freising. He was ordained in 1951 and received a Doctor of Theology in 1953. He taught at the University of Munich, Freising, and Tübingen from 1957 to 1969. He was appointed Archbishop in 1977 and as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981.

He fought against ideas violating Catholic tradition and the gospel, atheism, and secularism as the “defender of faith.” He was fluent in more than 10 languages, including Italian, French, Latin, Hebrew, and known as one of the greatest theologians of the 21st century. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote more than 60 books, including Jesus of Nazareth, which argues against objections about the existence of Jesus, and was widely popular.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a great pianist and fond of cats. Most previous popes enjoyed wine, but the late pope favored beer. He was a conservative but enjoyed conversations with the progressive Pope Francis. Their friendship was made into a Netflix movie and play titled “The Two Popes.”

Archbishop Chung Soon-taek of Seoul archdiocese mourned the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the mass presided at the Myeongdong Catholic Church on Sunday, saying that “He had respected the values of the traditional church while adjusting to an evolving world.” A memorial altar of the deceased had been set up at the Myeongdong Catholic Church, followed by other altars in churches nationwide. The Vatican Embassy to Korea will establish an official altar on Monday.

Pope Benedict XVI had never visited Korea, but the deceased Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan (1922- 2009) had learned from him attending the University of Munster in Germany. In 2006, he appointed Chung Jin-seok of the Seoul archdiocese Cardinal 2006. In the same year, he urged the de-nuclearization of Korea. President Yoon Suk Yeol also mourned the loss of the late Pope Benedict XVI, saying, “Deep sadness for Catholics who have lost the great Catholic theologian of the 20th century.” U.S. President Joe Biden also mourned the passing of Pope Emeritus XVI, saying that he will be remembered as a ‘renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church.’

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