Former Pope Benedict XVI has died. He was 95.
The Vatican released a statement on Saturday:
“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.
Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”
Pope Benedict XVI served for eight years before resigning in 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, was a German cardinal and theologian who served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. Prior to his papacy, Ratzinger had served as a professor of theology and as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s chief theological body. As Pope, Benedict was known for his conservative stance on social and moral issues, and for his efforts to re-evangelize and strengthen the Church.
During his papacy, Pope Benedict faced numerous challenges, including the sexual abuse scandal that had rocked the Church in the years prior to his election. In response, he implemented measures to address the problem and to ensure that such abuse would not be tolerated in the future. He also worked to strengthen relations with other religions, particularly Judaism and Islam, and made efforts to engage with the secular world.
Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy on February 28, 2013, citing declining health and advanced age. He was the first Pope to do so in nearly 600 years, and his decision surprised many in the Church and beyond. After his resignation, Pope Benedict retired to a monastery within the Vatican City, where he continued to write and engage in spiritual and intellectual pursuits.