Pope Benedict XVI’s body lying in state at Vatican

Vatican Obit Benedict XVI
People look at the body of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI laid out in state inside St. Peter’s Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Benedict XVI’s body lying in state at Vatican

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The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is lying in state in St. Peter’s Basilica as thousands of people line up to pay their respects on Monday.

Benedict died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95, nine years after he retired as pope, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to do so. Benedict’s body will be displayed for three days in an open casket at the church, with people allowed to pay their respects until 7 p.m. each evening.

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Pope Francis succeeded Benedict after the latter’s surprise announcement. The camerlengo typically runs the Vatican between the death of one pope and the election of the next. This time, Francis will continue running the Vatican. Francis will also preside over the funeral at St. Peter’s Square on Thursday. Benedict requested a funeral marked by simplicity.

Francis mourned and gave thanks to his predecessor hours after his death on Saturday.

“We are moved as we recall him as such a noble person, so kind. And we feel such gratitude in our hearts: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world,” Francis said in his remarks, according to a transcript provided by the Vatican News Service.

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President Joe Biden, the second Catholic president, said he and first lady Jill Biden were mourning the death of the pope emeritus. The president noted that he met with Benedict in 2011 and said that the pope was generous and welcoming. “May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all,” Biden said.

It is not yet known which representatives of the U.S. will be present at Benedict’s funeral, but delegations from Italy and Benedict’s native Germany are expected to be in attendance.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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