Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, who stepped down as leader of the Catholic Church in 2013, has passed away today at the age of 95.
The Catholic faithful in Malawi and around the world is mourning the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who died this morning.
“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,” Vatican Press Office announced.
Pope Benedict XVI was from Germany and he was born in April, 1927.
He became Pepe in 2005 when he replaced John Paul II. However, in an unusual move, he stepped down due to ill-health and was replaced by Pope Francis.
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, according to the BBC.
Pope Benedict XVI is described by many as a great theologian and teacher.
However, during the time he was leader of the Catholic Church, the church faced allegations of covering up 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 BBC reported.
Meanwhile, following news of the former pope’s death people began gathering in St Peter’s Square in Rome.
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