After a prolonged fight with ailments brought on by his age, former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away early on New Year’s Eve morning at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City, beyond Italy.
The Vatican did not specify the cause of death, but Pope Francis, the current Bishop of Rome, had openly announced Benedict’s poor health conditions a few days before his passing.
On April 16, 1927, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger gave birth to Benedict, who was raised in Marktl, Germany, under Nazi control. Although he opposed Hitler, he was compelled to accept Hitler’s “Call to Arms” when he was a teenager and later served in the Nazi Army. He was tasked with combat on the front lines of World War II; however, as the Allies annexed Germany, he fled from his post.
He went back to his residence and enrolled in a seminary, beginning his journey to becoming a pope.
Benedict surpassed Pope Leo XIII in longevity in 2020, making him the longest-reigning pope. Despite being chosen as Pope in 2005, Benedict retired from his position in 2013 at the age of 85, emphasizing his gradually increasing age and decline in health. Thus, he became the first pope to resign in six centuries.
He was referred to as “God’s Rottweiler” because of his resolute Roman Catholic views and was regarded among the top philosophers within the church throughout his tenure as Pope. He strongly opposed the recruitment of women as priests and the normalization of homosexuality.
Benedict’s coffin will be showcased in the Saint Peter’s Basilica church on January 2, 2023, for all supporters to pay their final respects. Further updates will most likely be made public in due course.