Pope Francis leads the funeral service of Pope Benedict XVI, the primary in fashionable historical past

For the primary time in fashionable historical past, a sitting pope will preside over his predecessor’s funeral subsequent week, with Pope Francis main a “easy” ceremony for Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday.

Benedict, the primary pope to resign because the Center Ages, has abdicated the papal throne — however he is lived contained in the Vatican and nonetheless wears white.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni informed reporters at a information briefing after his dying that the 95-year-old would have a “solemn however easy” funeral on Thursday.

The sudden deterioration within the former pope’s well being earlier this week raised questions on what is going to occur subsequent.

The dying of a Roman Catholic pope normally units time-honored traditions in movement, however can somebody who has renounced the papacy obtain papal therapy?

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In contrast to when earlier popes died, there isn’t any must name a conclave to elect a brand new pope, as a result of Francis — who was chosen to succeed Benedict in 2013 — stays in workplace.

Underneath the foundations laid down in 1996, a pope have to be buried between 4 and 6 days after his dying.

How and when he’s buried is normally determined by cardinals who meet from everywhere in the world, who additionally set up the Vatican’s 9 days of mourning, often known as novemdiales.

They determined this as a result of the dying of a pope historically creates an influence vacuum on the high of the Church.

Nonetheless, there isn’t any such void on this case, as Francis takes over.

The previous pope’s funeral will happen in St. Peter’s Sq., the extensive sq. in entrance of the church, on Thursday at 9:30 am (0830 GMT).

“Because the Pope Emeritus wished, the funeral shall be easy,” Bruni informed reporters.

In his first public remark because the dying of his predecessor, Francis on Saturday paid tribute to Benedict, calling him “a person of the Aristocracy and goodness who was a present to the Church and the world.”

Francis stated, “With tenderness we keep in mind his particular person, so noble, sort. We really feel in our hearts such gratitude and gratitude to God for giving him to the Church and the world.”

Francis had alerted the world to Benedict’s weak point on Wednesday, when he referred to as on the world’s Catholics to hope for him.

He later visited him on the Abbey of Mater Ecclesiae inside the Vatican Gardens which grew to become Benedict’s residence when he retired.

On the identical day, Bruni stated, the previous pope obtained “consecration of the sick,” or “final rites” as it’s usually referred to as, a Catholic custom wherein an individual’s soul is cleansed of sins in preparation for the afterlife.

It was carried out on the finish of Mass in his home, within the presence of Memores Domini, 4 lay ladies like nuns, who lived with him.

The physique of the German pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, will stay within the monastery till early Monday morning.

Afterwards, the repose will happen in St. Peter’s Basilica, the place the trustworthy pays their respects over a interval of three days.

In 2005, the physique of John Paul II, the final pope to die, was additionally laid to relaxation earlier than a funeral mass in St. Peter’s Sq. presided over by Ratzinger, then Cardinal Grand.

An estimated a million folks attended, together with heads of state from world wide.

The Vatican stated official delegations from the previous pope’s native Italy and Germany would attend the funeral.

After that, the Vatican stated “the coffin of the titular Pontiff shall be transferred to St. Peter’s Basilica, after which to the Vatican Caves for burial.”

In 2020, media studies acknowledged that the Pope had chosen to be buried within the former tomb of John Paul II, within the crypt of Saint Peter’s.

The physique of the beloved Polish pontiff was moved to the highest of the church when he was beatified in 2011. He was confirmed as a saint in 2014.

Historically, when a pope dies, his “fisherman’s seal”—a signet ring specifically solid for every new pope and as soon as used to seal paperwork—can be destroyed.

When Benedict left workplace, the obverse of his ring was etched with an “X” to render it unusable.

(France 24 with the African Union)

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