News Former Pope Benedict XVI laid to rest in St Peter’s Basilica before his funeral


Former Pope Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday at the age of 95, will have a funeral later this week at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on Monday.

Benedict, the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign rather than serve for life, died Dec. 31 at a convent in Vatican City, according to a Vatican statement.

He was elected pope in April 2005 following the death of John Paul II.

The former pope’s body was moved from the abbey to St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning for the faithful to say goodbye, the Vatican said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella, among others, paid their respects as Benedict XVI was laid to rest.

Benedict's resting state began at St. Peter's Basilica on Monday.

Mourners queuing in St. Peter’s Square told CNN they wanted to pay tribute to the former pope.

“We just came here to pray and thank God for Pope Benedict’s life,” said Paul, a student from Scotland.

“In addition to his theology, which is very important to the church, I think all the time he spent praying for the church after retirement is a very important testimony for all of us.”

Benedict XVI’s funeral will take place at 9:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday in the Vatican City, according to Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican’s press office. held in St. Peter’s Square. The funeral will be presided over by Pope Francis. According to Benedict’s wishes, Bruni said his funeral would be “simple”.

Francis paid tribute to his predecessor as he presided over the Angelus prayers on Sunday.

“Especially to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who passed away yesterday morning. We salute him as a faithful servant of the Gospel,” he said.

Benedict (pictured on February 27, 2013) was the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign.

Benedict is known to be more conservative than his successor, Pope Francis, who has moved to soften the Vatican’s stance on abortion and homosexuality and do more to address the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the church in recent years and cast a shadow over Benedict. Nedict’s legacy.

When he announced his plans to resign as pope in 2013, he stunned Catholics and religious experts around the world by citing his “advanced age”.

In his farewell address, the outgoing pope pledged to remain “hidden” from the world, but he has continued to speak out on religious issues in the years since his retirement, stoking tensions within the Catholic Church.

His death has drawn tributes from political and religious leaders including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Dalai Lama.

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