Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, born as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, died in his residence in Vatican City in the morning of 31 December 2022, aged 95. He was born in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany on 16 April 1927.
May he rest in peace.
Former Pope Benedict XVI has died at his Vatican residence, aged 95, almost a decade after he stood down because of ailing health.
He led the Catholic Church for less than eight years until, in 2013, he became the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
Benedict spent his final years at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery within the walls of the Vatican.
His successor Pope Francis said he had visited him there frequently.
The Vatican said in a statement: "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."
The Vatican said the body of the Pope Emeritus will be placed in St Peter's Basilica from 2 January for "the greeting of the faithful".
Pope Francis will lead the funeral on 5 January in St Peter's Square in Rome, a spokesperson said.
Bells rang out from Munich cathedral and a single bell was heard ringing from St Peter's Square in Rome after the former pope's death was announced.
The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said Pope Benedict was "one of the great theologians of the 20th century".
In a statement he said: "I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met."
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the former pope "a great theologian whose UK visit in 2010 was an historic moment for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country".
French President Emmanuel Macron said Pope Benedict "worked with soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world" and said his thoughts went out to Catholics in France and around the world.
Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Pope Benedict "was a giant of faith and reason".
"He put his life at the service of the universal Church and spoke, and will continue to speak, to the hearts and minds of men with the spiritual, cultural and intellectual depth of his Magisterium."
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said for many, not only in Germany, Pope Benedict was "a formative figure of the Catholic Church, a controversial personality and a clever theologian".
Irish President Michael D Higgins said the former pope will be remembered for "his untiring efforts to find a common path in promoting peace and goodwill throughout the world".
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said Pope Benedict was "one of the greatest theologians of his age - committed to the faith of the Church and stalwart in its defence".
Following news of the former pope's death people began gathering in St Peter's Square in Rome.
Annamaria, 65, and Patrizia, 64, visiting from the northern Italian city of Bologna, said they went there immediately as soon as they heard about the death.
"We came here to pray. He was a great pontiff, certainly very different from Francis, he was a great intellectual and scholar. Like the rest of the Church we will always remember him," Annamaria told the BBC.
Barbara Bernadas, a tourist from the Spanish city of Barcelona, said she and her boyfriend felt a sense of bewilderment when they heard the news.
"We learned of his death just as we were in St Peter's Square. A tourist guide was just telling us where Benedict lived, it feels surreal. What will happen now? This situation is unprecedented; there are no protocols to follow for what will happen now. Certainly it is an unprecedented historical moment," she said.
Although the former pontiff had been ill for some time, Vatican authorities said there had been an aggravation in his condition because of advancing age.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis appealed to his final audience of the year at the Vatican to "pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict", whom he said was very ill.
Born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany, Benedict was 78 when in 2005 he became one of the oldest popes ever elected.
For much of his papacy, the Catholic Church faced allegations, legal claims and official reports into decades of child abuse by priests.
Earlier this year the former pope acknowledged that errors had been made in the handling of abuse cases while he was archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982.
The Emeritus (retired) Pope Benedict 16th passed away on 31 December.
Born as Joseph Ratzinger of Germany he was considered to be one of the great theological minds of the 20th century.
He retired as Pope, due to ill health but appears to have lived for around another decade post stepping down.
Topics merged. May Pope Benedict XVI rest in peace.
Rip to the emeritus Rome’s bishop, Pope Benedict XVI.
RIP to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Very Sad news .. RIP Pope Benedict XVI
Oldest Pope ( emeritus) ever.
Rest in peace Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022).
Interested in supercentenarians since 27 July 2018.
First supercentenarian I learned about: Kane Tanaka (1903-2022)
Requiescat in aeternam pacem, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
I am grieving the passing of this wise, erudite and holy man.
I am mourning his death, while grateful for the gift he was of a god sheperd and Holy Father.
Holy Father, I will never forget you.
You are my all-time favourite Holy Father.
We spoke the same language, even the similar Bavarian dialect.
We will miss you so much.
Pray for us in heaven.
PS I love the way Holy Father Francis has paid tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “It is with emotion that we remember his person, so noble, so kind, so gentle (= so sanft in German!). And we feel in our heart such gratitude, gratitude to God for having gifted him to the church and the world.”
Benedikt war die Sanftmütigkeit in Person. Immer freundlich, respektvoll und niemals unbeherrscht.
I had also heard that Pope Francis may have recently contemplated stepping down due to age and health, but there was a reluctance to have THREE past or present Popes, if that occurred.
As people may know he is 86 and uses a wheelchair more frequently these days.
So perhaps Pope Benedict may be followed in this regard, as the first Pope for circa 600 years to step down.