Former Head of Catholic Church Pope Benedict XVI Dead at 95

By: Sarah Blackwell and Bella Pitrone

Pope Benedict XVI, the first Pope to step down from his position in 600 years, died Saturday evening at age 95. A three-day visiting period followed his death, where his body lays to allow his followers to pay their respects. His predecessor Pope Francis led his funeral on Jan. 5 at St. Peter’s Square.

“Pope Benedict was able to leave a lasting impact on the church. Before him, it was thought unthinkable to resign as pope and to do the job for life. However, his choice to resign allowed Pope Francis to also have to resign as a consideration.” says Mt. Hebron Senior Giuliana Pangan.

Pope Benedict XVI spent his last moments in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City, where he stayed after his resignation and a full life.

During his lifetime, his Holiness earned a doctorate in theology, taught at multiple universities, and published works succeeding his call to the priesthood. After returning from war in the mid-20th century, he continued to devote his life to faith.

Pope Benedict’s funeral was held on Jan. 5 at around 9:30 a.m., with Pope Francis as the leader. Prayers were read in Latin, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English. 

“Pope Francis was a good leader [for the funeral]. I think it’s important for the current Pope to head those kinds of things,” says Mt. Hebron Sophomore Emily Simcock. 

Pope Benedict’s body rests in the tombs of St. Peter’s Basilica after a life of religious endeavors that will not be forgotten in the eyes and heart of the Catholic Church.

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