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Former Pope Benedict XVI lies in state in St Peter’s Basilica ahead of funeral


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CNN

The lying state of former Pope Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday at the age of 95, began Monday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City ahead of his funeral later this week.

Benedict, who resigned as Pope for the first time in nearly 600 years, died in a Vatican convent on December 31, according to a Vatican statement.

He was elected pope in April 2005 after the death of John Paul II.

The former pope’s body was moved from the convent to St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning, where it was laid out for believers to bid farewell, the Vatican said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella were among those who paid tribute to Benedict as he lay in state.

– Source:
CNN
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See Pope Benedict’s most memorable moments

Mourners waiting in line in St. Peter’s Square told CNN they wanted to pay tribute to the former pope.

“We are here to pray. Thank God for the life of Pope Benedict,” said Paul, a student from Scotland.

“Apart from his theology, which is so important to the church, I think his time in retirement to pray for the church was a huge testament to all of us.”

Benedict’s funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, said Matteo Bruni, the Holy See’s Press Secretary. rice field. The funeral will be led by Pope Francis. In keeping with Benedict’s wishes, Bruni said his funeral would be “simple.”

Francis paid tribute to his predecessor while leading the Angelus prayer on Sunday.

People line up to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict in Vatican City on January 2, 2023. ahead of Thursday's funeral.

Benedict's lying state began Monday at St. Peter's Basilica.

“In particular, this salute is to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died yesterday morning. I salute him as a faithful servant of the Gospel,” he said.

Benedict has moved to soften the Vatican’s position on abortion and homosexuality, and has done more to address the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the church in recent years than his successor, Pope Francis, has done. Known to be conservative.Benedict’s legacy.

He surprised Catholics and religious experts around the world in 2013 by announcing his plans to step down as Pope, citing “old age”.

In his farewell address, the outgoing pope promised to “hide” from the world, but continued to speak out on religious issues even after retiring, heightening tensions within the Catholic Church.

His death was met with condolences from political and religious leaders such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Dalai Lama.

– Source:
CNN
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(File) This file photo was taken in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican on December 29, 2012 as Pope Benedict XVI arrives at the ecumenical Christian community of Taizé during a meeting in Europe It shows how you are saluting to.  On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would step down on February 28, a Vatican spokesman told AFP.  AFP PHOTO / FILES / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (photo credit is his ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP via Getty Images)

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