AFP, Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2023 at 1:56 pm.
The Vatican on Sunday released the first photographs of the body of Benedict XVI, who died on Sunday at the age of 95 and was eulogized again by his successor Francis.
We see the dead Pope, dressed in red (the color of papal mourning) lying on a catafalque, wearing a white miter decorated with gold braid and a rosary in his hands.
The catafalque is placed in the center of a small private chapel at the monastery where he lived since his abdication in 2013, located in the heart of the Vatican gardens. A cross, a Christmas tree and a nativity scene are visible in the background.
Cardinals also prayed before the body of Joseph Ratzinger, according to a photo posted on social media.
“We entrust our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Holy Mother (Virgin Mary) to go from this world to be the companion of God,” the Argentine pontiff said Sunday at a Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica.
– “A Great Man” –
At noon, during the weekly Angelus prayer, the Pope again paid homage to “this faithful servant of the Gospel and of the Church.” He spoke before about 40,000 faithful gathered under the sun from the window of the Apostolic Palace, Saint-Pierre. Then he was silent for a while.
“I respect him a lot: he is a great man, simple and modest,” Paola Filippa, a 58-year-old Italian teacher who was in the crowd, told AFP.
A brilliant theologian and ardent defender of doctrine, Benedict XVI, who announced his abdication as his strength waned, died peacefully on Saturday morning.
The funeral celebrated by his predecessor Francis, head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, would be unprecedented in the Catholic Church’s two-thousand-year history.
“We are planning to come” for the funeral, for which “a lot of people will come from abroad,” AFP Luca Scotti, a 58-year-old Romanian, told Saint-Pierre Square on Sunday.
The public can already gather from Monday morning to Wednesday evening in front of Joseph Ratzinger’s body, which will be transferred from the Ardent Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica. The first German pope in modern history will be buried in a crypt in the basilica after his funeral.
– “Policies” –
Leaders from around the world, from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, paid tribute on Saturday.
“He will be remembered as a distinguished theologian, guided by his principles and his faith, who devoted his entire life to devotion to the Church,” said US President Joe Biden.
His death ends An unusual coexistence Two in white: on the one hand, the German Joseph Ratzinger, a great theologian, not a crowd, and on the other, the Argentinean Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit with a sharp word who wants to center the poor and immigrants. Mission of the Church.
After an eight-year pontificate marked by many crises, Benedict XVI was gripped by the pedocrime drama in the Church in early 2022. Questioned by a report in Germany about his handling of sexual abuse during his tenure as archbishop of Munich, he broke his silence to ask for “forgiveness” but assured that he had not covered up a child offender.
Unprecedented in six centuries, with his abdication, Benedict XVI opened the way for his successors, whose power would decline.
– HIV and Vathylakes –
François, 86, suffers from knee pain and left the possibility “open”. He has already signed a letter of resignation in case it prevents him from taking up his role in December.
Born in 1927, Joseph Ratzinger taught theology in Germany for 25 years before being appointed Archbishop of Munich.
He later became a staunch defender of the Church’s doctrine for a quarter of a century in Rome as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and later Pope John Paul II for eight years.
He was the last pope to participate in the Second Vatican Council, although he defended the church’s leadership’s conservative policy, particularly on abortion, homosexuality or euthanasia.
His statements, such as the use of condoms against Islam or HIV, were sometimes shocking.
His pontificate in 2012 was marked by the leaking of secret documents (“Whatleaks”) arranged by his butler. The scandal exposed the Roman Curia (Vatican government) as riddled with intrigue and without financial rigor.