Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dies at Age 95

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dies at Age 95

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at his Vatican residence on Saturday at age 95, the Vatican press office announced.

The former pontiff died at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery at 9.34 a.m. (0834GMT), the Vatican said, adding that his body will be exposed in Saint Peter's Basilica on Jan. 2 "so the faithful can bid farewell," Anadolu Agency reported.

Pope Benedict's health conditions had worsened in the past few days due to his advancing age, as the Vatican reported in its updates on the evolving situation.

Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor's worsening health at the end of his last General Audience of the year on Wednesday.

Pope Francis invited the faithful to pray for Pope Emeritus, who was "very ill."

Following his invitation, prayer initiatives multiplied on all continents, along with messages of solidarity and closeness coming from across the world.

The Holy See press office said it will communicate further details about the funeral rite.

In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI made an almost unprecedented decision to resign from his position, citing his advanced age.

Benedict was the first pope who decided to step down in nearly 600 years. In 2020, the Vatican said he had suffered from a "painful but not serious condition" following reports in German media that he was sick.

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