Benedict XVI is dead: Pope Emeritus Joseph Ratzinger passed away this morning at the age of 95

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died this morning, Saturday 31 December 2022, at 9:34. The Vatican Press Office announced the death of the Pope Emeritus. Here is the press release announcing the death of Joseph Ratzinger.
Benedict XVI is dead: the Pope emeritus passed away today at the age of 95
“It is with pain that I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 am, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican”. This was stated by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni. “More information will follow as soon as possible,” he adds in the note.
When the greeting to the faithful and the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI will take place
From the morning of Monday 2 January 2023, the body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican for the greeting of the faithful. This was reported by the Vatican Press Office in the note announcing the death of Joseph Ratzinger. For the funeral of Benedict XVI we will have to wait instead for Thursday 5 January, at 9.30, in St. Peter’s Square and they will be presided over by Pope Francis.
Who was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger comes from an old family of farmers in Lower Bavaria. His parents, not particularly wealthy, try to ensure him a dignified education so much so that, in the face of some difficulties, for a certain period it is the father himself – by profession commissioner of the gendarmerie – who takes care of his education.
Joseph Ratzinger, cardinal, was one of the most important exponents of the Roman Curia. Appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1981 as prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the faith, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological Commission (1981), he has been vice dean of the College of Cardinals since 1998.
Childhood is marked by the events of great history. Little more than a teenager, the devastation caused by the Second World War was raging in his country. When the German armed forces find themselves in a bad position, he is called up in the anti-aircraft auxiliary services. However, the ecclesiastical vocation begins to mature within him, also as a reaction to all the horrors that war causes.
A few years later Ratzinger enrolled at the University of Munich to undertake the very “secular” studies of Philosophy. His thirst for knowledge is such that, in order to drink more decisively from the sources of spiritual knowledge, he continues his strenuous study also in the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology in Freising.
It is not to be believed that his fate as cardinal was not already sealed in some way given that, in the face of canonical studies, on June 29, 1951 Ratzinger was ordained a priest. His pastoral service is not limited to preaching or serving mass but puts his fresh wisdom, which has just materialized in the theology thesis (“People and house of God in the doctrine of the Church of St. Augustine”) shortly before discussed, in teaching , experience that will last several years (also after the granting of free teaching obtained with the dissertation of the work “The theology of the history of San Bonaventura”). For about a decade Ratzinger taught first in Bonn, then also in Munster and Tübingen.
In the 1970s the general climate was certainly not favorable to the church and its representatives. Joseph Ratzinger is certainly not the type to be intimidated or to follow the fashions of the moment and indeed he founds his charisma within ecclesiastical institutions through a certain intransigence of thought.
As early as 1962 Ratzinger had acquired international fame by intervening as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council. In 1969 he became full professor of Dogmatics and the history of dogmas at the University of Regensburg, where he was also vice president.
On 24 March 1977 Pope Paul VI appointed him archbishop of Munchen und Freising and on the following 28 May he received episcopal consecration, the first diocesan priest to take over the management of the great Bavarian diocese after 80 years. On 5 April 1993 he joined the Order of Cardinal Bishops.
Ratzinger was president of the Commission for the preparation of the catechism of the Catholic Church in the period 1986-1992 and was awarded an honorary degree in law by Lumsa.
Ratzinger symbolically closed the pontificate of John Paul II, giving the homily at his funeral and acknowledging how “Those who have seen the Pope pray, those who have heard him preach never forget him” and how “thanks to a deep rootedness in Christ, the Pope was able to carry a weight that goes beyond purely human strength”.
On April 19, 2005, the enormous weight of leading the church into the new millennium was entrusted to him.In the face of the enthusiasm, but also the doubts raised by his figure, a first answer seems to be the choice of name: Benedict XVI.
The previous Pope to choose Benedict’s name (Benedict XV) was the Pope of the Great War. He too, like Ratzinger, had been a “statesman”, who arrived at the papacy after having been Apostolic Nuncio to Spain and Vatican secretary of state. An apparently conservative pope, but elected to the papal throne in 1914, he embodied the Church’s opposition to the “useless massacre”, with courageous choices and proposals for peace. The difficult diplomatic relations of the Church with the great European powers in the first post-war period bear witness to this commitment.
The choice of name therefore highlights not only the similarity of the path within the Church: it highlights the first ambition of the pontificate of Pope Ratzinger, Benedict XVI: peace.
In February 2013 a shocking announcement arrives: the pope declares his willingness to abandon his role as head of the Church, for the Church itself, citing as a reason the lack of strength due to advanced age. Benedict XVI ends his mandate as pontiff from 20.00 on 28 February 2013. His successor elected is Pope Francis. Benedict XVI assumes the role of pope emeritus.

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