Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square during his inaugural Mass April 24, 2005, as the Catholic Church’s 265th pope. / Vatican Media

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 31, 2022 / 05:25 am (CNA).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a leading theologian of the 20th century and the first pope to resign from office in nearly 600 years, has died at the age of 95.

Follow along here for live updates:

Dec. 31, 9:56 a.m.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco tweeted his remembrance of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a “loving pastor” who would want the faithful to pray for the repose of his soul.

Dec. 31, 9:50 a.m.

World leaders have been sending their condolences over the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, including European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who tweeted, “Europe mourns him. May he rest in peace.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called the late pope emeritus “a giant of faith and reason.”


French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and King Charles III have also voiced their condolences. 

Dec. 31, 9:15 a.m.: Reflection of USCCB President on Death of Pope Benedict XVI

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a reflection on the pope emeritus:

“The passing from this life of Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, sounds contrasting notes of sorrow and gratitude in my heart.

“The Church gives thanks for the treasured ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. A superb theologian who lent his talents as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, he continued throughout his long life to be an effective teacher of the faith. As a priest, university professor and theologian, archbishop, and cardinal, his voice in deepening an authentic understanding led all of us to a more profound love of truth and the mystery of God. It will take many years for us to delve more deeply into the wealth of learning that he has left us.

“Personally, I remember many meetings with him while I served in the Secretariat of State, and I will never forget his greeting to me at the first General Audience I attended some weeks after his election to the Chair of Peter. ‘Ci conosciamo’ (we know each other) were his warm words of welcome as he took my hand between his.”

You can read the full reflection here.

Dec. 31, 8:55 a.m.

Catholics and people worldwide are invited to “offer your condolences, express your gratitude for the life and work of Pope Benedict XVI, and join with the faithful from all over the world in prayer for the deceased pontiff” online at a website dedicated to late pope emeritus located here. Each person is asked to leave his or her name and email address along with a personal message.

The website, www.BenedictusXVI.com, is run by the Tagespost Foundation.

Dec. 31, 8:28 a.m.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston reflected on the late pope, who made him a Cardinal, and praised Benedict for his service to the church, particularly his “deep pastoral care” for survivors of clergy sex abuse. Cardinal O’Malley’s full statement can be read here.

Dec. 31, 8:20 a.m.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the former president of the U.S. bishops, thanked the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and prayed “May the angels lead you to paradise.”

Dec. 31, 8:15 a.m.: LIVE from St. Peter’s Square

EWTN is covering the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI live from Rome. Viewers can tune in here:

Dec. 31, 8:01 a.m.: Remembering Benedict XVI: 10 Quotes on Love, Death, Hope, Mary, and Marriage

The late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inspired many with his words on faith, hope, and love. The National Catholic Register’s Alyssa Murphy notes some of his moving reflections here

Dec. 31, 7:58 a.m.

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, asked for prayers for the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, saying “May we give thanks to God for his example and witness and pray for his eternal peace and happiness.”

Dec. 31, 7:29 a.m.

Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, the founder of the Catholic media apostolate Word on Fire, called the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “one of the most important Catholics in modern times.” He noted his key role as a theological advisor during the Second Vatican Council and his leadership of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II.

Dec. 31, 7:19 a.m.: Funeral Mass of Benedict XVI to be held Jan. 5

The Vatican announced Saturday that the funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will take place on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral, which, in keeping with Benedict’s wishes, “will be carried out under the sign of simplicity,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

You can read more here.

Dec. 31, 7:01 a.m.: Cardinal Müller: Benedict XVI Will Be Remembered as a ‘True Doctor of the Church for Today’

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, discussed the legacy of the late pope emeritus with the National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin, calling him a “true Doctor of the Church for today.”

You can read more here.

Dec. 31, 6:44 a.m.

The Pontifical Academy for Life called the late pope emeritus, “one of the most influential theological personalities of the twentieth century, constantly striving to make the faith understandable and reliable for modern man.”

Dec. 31, 5:45 a.m.: PHOTOS: Key moments from Benedict XVI’s papacy

The faithful can follow Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy as told through photos here.

Dec. 31, 5:15 a.m.: A timeline of Pope Benedict XVI’s extraordinary life

The faithful can look back at the key dates and events in the life of Pope Benedict XVI at a timeline located here.

Dec. 31, 4:59 a.m.: Benedict XVI dead at 95: The ‘humble worker’ and his legacy of hope to the Catholic Church

Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was elected pope on April 19, 2005, and took the name Benedict XVI. Eight years later, on Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old shocked the world with the announcement — made in Latin — that he was resigning from the papacy. It was the first resignation of a pope in nearly 600 years. He cited his advanced age and lack of strength as unsuitable for the exercise of his office.

However, the enormous legacy of his theologically profound contributions to the Church and the world will continue to be the source of reflection and study.

You can read more here.

Dec. 31, 4:44 a.m.: BREAKING: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at age 95

His death was announced in Rome on Dec. 31. His funeral Mass will be held on Jan. 5, 2023, in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican said.

The Vatican press office director, Matteo Bruni, said Dec. 31: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.”

Benedict XVI’s body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning on Jan. 2, 2023.

You can read more here.