Former Pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95 in his Vatican apartment. His departure as Pope was forced by his failing health over ten years ago.
He was Pope for a little more than seven years until retiring in 2013, becoming him the first Pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415.
He spent his final years at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, which is located within the borders of the Vatican City State.
His successor, Pope Francis, revealed that he had visited him there several times.
“With great sadness, I inform you that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” the Vatican said in a statement.
“Additional information will be made accessible as soon as it becomes available.”
The Vatican has announced that the body of Pope Emeritus John Paul II would be carried to St. Peter’s Basilica on January 2 for “the greeting of the faithful.”
The Vatican has said that Pope Benedict’s burial plans will be made public in the coming hours.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who presides over the Catholic Church in England and Wales, recently referred to Pope Benedict as “one of the great intellectuals of the twentieth century” in a statement.
“I recall with great pleasure the wonderful Papal Visit to these lands in 2010,” he said in a statement. We experienced his kindness, tenderness, perceptiveness of thought, and the warmth of his welcome offered to everyone he came into contact with.”
“He was a gentleman through and through, a scholar through and through, a pastor through and through, and a man of God all of the time. He had a close relationship with the Lord and was always his humble servant.”
Despite the fact that the former pontiff had been ill for some time, Vatican officials said that his condition had worsened due to his senior age. Despite the fact that he had been sick for quite some time.
During his final audience of the year at the Vatican on Wednesday, Pope Francis asked his audience to “pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict,” who he described as being in really ill health.
Joseph Ratzinger was born in Germany, and in 2005, at the age of 78, he became one of the oldest popes ever elected.
The Catholic Church was the subject of allegations, legal claims, and official reports about decades of child abuse committed by priests for much of his pontificate.
In the beginning of this year, the former Pope recognized that mistakes were made in the handling of abuse cases while he was Archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982.