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Inside the VaticanDecember 31, 2022
Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd as he leaves his final general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 27, 2013. The pope emeritus died Dec. 31, 2022 at 95. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at 9:34 a.m. Rome time, today, Saturday, December 31st, 2022. On this special update episode of “Inside the Vatican,” veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell joins host Colleen Dulle for a conversation on the emeritus pope’s funeral arrangements, his legacy, and Gerry’s memories of him.

Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope and took the name Benedict XVI in 2005 after the long papacy of John Paul II. In 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to resign voluntarily from his office, which made it possible for future popes to resign if they should find their mental or physical health failing or the weighty burden of office too much for them to bear.

Benedict lived as an emeritus pope for almost 10 years, a period longer than he was pope.

This evening at the Vatican, Pope Francis said of his predecessor, “With emotion we remember his person so noble, so kind. And we feel in our hearts so much gratitude: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him, for all the good he accomplished, and especially for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his retired life. Only God knows the value and strength of his intercession, of his sacrifices offered for the good of the Church.”

Read more on the life and legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at americamagazine.org.

Links from the show:

Pope Benedict XVI, defender of orthodoxy defined by historic resignation, dies at 95

Pope Benedict’s theological legacy: An Augustinian at heart who influenced the course of Vatican II and beyond

Pope Benedict XVI’s devotion to the Eucharist: A key to understanding his life and theology

Pope Francis will preside at Benedict’s funeral in St. Peter’s Square on Jan. 5

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