Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passes away at the age of 95 in his residence in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, served as the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church from April 2005 until his retirement in February 2013. Born in Bavaria, Germany on April 16th, 1927, he is the first pope to resign from office since Gregory XII did so in 1415.
Benedict XVI was a highly respected scholar and theologian before his election as pope, having served as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II. He strongly advocated for traditional moral values within the Catholic Church, including opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. During his papacy, he sought to strengthen ties between different branches of Christianity by encouraging ecumenical dialogue. To this end, he held meetings with Orthodox Christian leaders and made visits to synagogues and mosques around the world.
He also convened a meeting of over 200 bishops from around the globe at the Vatican in 2012 to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing Catholicism today, including modern secularism and its impact on faith as well as cultural elements such as migration and technology. In addition to these achievements, Benedict XVI published several books throughout his lifetime which reflected his deep knowledge of scripture and theology. These include works such as Jesus Time: A Prophetic Interpretation of History (1999) and The Spirit of The Liturgy (2000).
Upon his retirement from office, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI moved into a monastery located within Vatican City where he has remained since then. He continued to produce occasional writings on theological topics despite his advanced age; one example is From Address to His Holiness' Spiritual Testament (2013), which addressed spiritual matters such as pain and suffering that often come with old age. While no longer serving actively as pope, Benedict XVI still maintained close relationships with many prominent figures within Catholicism today due to both his extensive experience within religious circles as well as his wisdom accrued through personal reflection over many years of service. Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away at age 95 in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.