According to a spokesman for the Holy See, the former Pope Benedict passed away on Saturday at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
“I regret to inform you that Benedict XVI, the Pope Emeritus, passed away today at 9:34 in the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. We’ll provide you further details as soon as we can “In a written statement, the spokesperson stated.
In his weekly general audience earlier this week, Pope Francis revealed that his predecessor was “extremely unwell” and requested prayers.
Benedict served as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the influential head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, formerly known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for nearly 25 years (CDF).
The former pope served as the church’s conservative standard-bearer, and some extreme traditionalists even refused to recognize Francis as a genuine Pope.
They have criticized Francis for his openness toward the LGBTQ+ community and Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church, claiming that both of these actions undermine traditional norms.