Ndifreke Enefiok, Uyo.
Catholic faithfuls all over the world have been thrown into mourning as former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95 years.
Death of Pope Benedict XVI was announced by the Vatican on Saturday, 31st December, almost a decade after he became the first pontiff to resign in six centuries.
Formerly known as Joseph Alois Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI was at Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau, Germany on 16th April, 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptized same day.
Then called Cardinal Joseph Aloisous Ratzinger, was elected Pope on 19th April 2005 and took the name Benedict XVI.
He retired and lived a quiet life on February 11, 2013, making him the first Pope to retire after nearly 600years.
The statement by the Vatican Spokesman Matteo Bruni says,
“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.”
The late German Pope died at the early hours of today in the Matter Ecclesiae Monastery, in the Vatican in Rome, Italy after stepping down from his position in February 2013 following his ailing health.
On Wednesday, the Vatican revealed his health had worsened and called for prayers from Catholics worldwide.
Details about his funerals are yet to be communicated but Vatican says – ”Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”
He was the first Pope to be elected from outside Italy in over 400 years, and he served as the head of the Catholic Church until his resignation in 2013, becoming the first Pope to do so in over 600 years.
Pope Benedict XVI was known for his conservative views and his strong emphasis on traditional Catholic teachings.
He worked to promote the Church’s social teachings, particularly on issues such as poverty and the environment.
During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI also worked to improve relations with other faiths, particularly Judaism and Islam.