February 4, 2023

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Pope Francis addresses the faithful on the day after the death of Benedict XVI

Pope Francis is due to address the Catholic faithful at the Vatican on Sunday, the day after his predecessor Benedict XVI died at the age of 95, whose funeral will be celebrated on Thursday.

At 12:00 p.m. (11:00 GMT) the Argentinian sovereign pontiff will address the congregation in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly Angelus prayer and salute in memory of Joseph Ratzinger.

A brilliant theologian and staunch defender of doctrine, the latter, who announced his abdication in 2013 due to declining strength, died on Saturday at the age of 95 at the monastery where he had retired, of a heart attack. Vatican Gardens.

Hours after his death was announced, Fran├žois paid his first tribute to his predecessor, hailing him as “a very noble, very kind person”. “We feel so much gratitude in our hearts,” he said.

On Thursday morning, he will celebrate the funeral of the first German pope in modern history, an unprecedented event in the Catholic Church’s two-thousand-year history – the head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. .

On Saturday, Catholics at the Vatican expressed their grief. “It’s a great pain. He was a very reserved person, but we felt his depth, he did a lot for the Church”, testified to AFP Milo Cecchetto, a Romanian in Saint-Pierre Square.

From Monday morning, the faithful will also be able to stand in front of Joseph Ratzinger’s body, which will be exposed under the gold of Saint Peter’s Basilica before being buried in a crypt after his funeral.

– “Courage” –

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.

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“He will be remembered as a distinguished theologian, guided by his principles and his faith, and devoted his entire life to devotion to the Church,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

In his native village of Markt in Germany, the town hall flag was lowered over all public buildings in Bavaria. Carl Michael Knack, 55, said her death was “probably a release for him”, recalling having “the courage to resign”.

His death put an end to the unusual coexistence of two in white: on the one hand, the German Joseph Ratzinger, a great theologian, not much of a crowd. To put the poor and the diaspora back at the center of the Church’s work.

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.

– VIH to Vatileak –

With this decision, the first German pope in modern history paved the way for his successors in an unprecedented six centuries. Fran├žois, 86, suffers from knee pain and left the possibility “open”.

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.

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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.