The Roman Catholic Pope, Benedict XVI is dead.
He died on Saturday at the age of 95, in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican news said in a tweet.
Born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, he was ordained a priest in 1951, and named archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977, the same year that he became a cardinal.
Four years later, the late Pope John Paul II summoned him (the now deceased pope) to Rome, where he became the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office responsible for defending church orthodoxy, one of the Vatican’s most important positions.
He led the office for nearly 25 years.
In 2005 when the Pope John Paul II passed, Mr Ratzinger was elected his successor. He took the name of a sixth-century monk, Benedict of Nurcia, who had founded monasteries and the Benedictine order, helping spread Christianity in Europe.
Eight years later (2013), he resigned and lived behind the Vatican walls for almost a decade as a retired pope citing declining health. He also said he resigned freely, and for the good of the church.
According to NewYork Times, a pope’s death customarily sets in motion a conclave to choose a new leader of the church, but Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, was named when Benedict stepped down.
ALSO READ: Pope Francis changes Vatican law, lightens sentences for convicted
Pope Benedict bowed out during a period of scandals and immense pressures, NewYork Times reported.
That resignation — the first by a pontiff since 1415 — is likely to be remembered as his most defining act.
He lived in retirement in a monastery on the Vatican grounds, mostly stepping back from public life and dedicating himself to prayer and meditation.
The Vatican said on Saturday that he would be in St. Peter’s Basilica “to be greeted by the faithful.” The Vatican said that further information would be provided as soon as possible.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999