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Ex-Pope Benedict Dies at 95

The funeral for Pope Benedict XVI will be held on January 5.

Former Pope Benedict has died in the Vatican monastery where he had lived since stepping down. He was 95 years old. 

The Vatican announced his body would lie in state from Monday in St.Peter's Basilica. Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI on the morning of January 5. 

Born in Germany, Benedict’s mother was from the area that is now the Province of Bolzano–South Tyrol in Northern Italy. He served as Pope from April 2005 to February 2013, becoming the first German to serve in the role in 1,000 years. During his time as the Bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church, Benedict took eight journeys within Italy. His final journey within Italy came in October 2012 when he visited Loreto, a hill town of the Italian province of Ancona, in the Marche, commonly known as the seat of the Basilica della Santa Casa, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site. 

In 2013, Benedict became the first Pope to resign in 600 years. 

In January 2022, a report on sexual abuse faulted Benedict’s handling of several cases when he served as archbishop in Germany’s Munich diocese in the 1970s and 1980s. During his time serving as Pope, Benedict was criticized for not acting against widespread child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic church. In 2010, he admitted that the church “did not act quickly or firmly enough to take the necessary action.”

Source: Reuters

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