Dignitaries and religious leaders have been paying tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died Saturday in a monastery in the Vatican at the age of 95.
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, was the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. He served as Pope from 2005 to 2013, succeeding Pope John Paul II.
Before his papacy, Ratzinger had a long and distinguished career within the Catholic Church. He was ordained as a priest in 1951 and later earned a doctorate in theology. He served as a professor at several universities and was eventually appointed as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position he held for over two decades.
As Pope, Benedict XVI focused on strengthening the Catholic Church’s teachings and traditions. He emphasized the importance of faith and the role of the Church in society, and sought to promote Christian unity among all believers. He also worked to defend the rights of the Catholic Church and its teachings, particularly in the face of criticism and challenges from modern secular society.
During his papacy, Benedict XVI faced several challenges, including the ongoing sexual abuse scandal within the Church and tensions with the Muslim world. However, he remained a strong and influential leader within the Catholic Church, and his papacy was marked by his commitment to traditional Church teachings and his efforts to promote unity among believers.
After serving as Pope for nearly eight years, Benedict XVI announced his resignation in 2013, citing advanced age and declining health as the reasons for his decision. He became the first Pope to resign since the Middle Ages, and his departure marked the end of a historic papacy. Despite his departure, Benedict XVI remains a respected and influential figure within the Catholic Church and continues to be an important figure in the history of the papacy.