Francis presides over Vatican ceremony

Benedict, who handed away on New Yr’s Eve on the age of 95, shocked the Catholic church when he retired in 2013, turning into the primary pontiff to take action in 600 years. That call will form his legacy, as will the sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church lately.

In 2013 he ceded the papacy to Francis, who’s extensively seen as a extra reformist chief, and spent his twilight years dwelling on the Vatican in a refurbished monastery.

As a result of Benedict was now not a head of state when he died, solely two nations, Italy and his native Germany, despatched official delegations to the funeral. However different world leaders and royals attended in a personal capability.

Heavy safety measures have been enforced within the Holy See to make sure the occasion’s security, with over 1,000 Italian safety personnel deployed and its air area closed for the day.

Image: The Funeral Of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Takes Place In St Peter's Basilica
Former Queen Sofia of Spain, King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attend the funeral on Thursday. Christopher Furlong / Getty Photographs

Amongst distinguished clergymen attending the funeral had been Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, his secretary stated. Zen, a retired 90-year-old bishop, has been sharply at odds with Francis over the Vatican’s settlement with Chinese language authorities on the appointment of bishops.

Virtually 200,000 folks have paid their respects to the pope’s physique because it laid in state at St. Peter’s Basilica from Monday till Wednesday night.

The pope’s physique was positioned in a plain wooden coffin in preparation for the funeral. After the funeral ceremony, the coffin will likely be taken again contained in the basilica and encased in zinc earlier than being sealed in a second picket casket.

At his request, Benedict will likely be buried within the underground Vatican grottoes within the area of interest the place first Pope John XXIII after which John Paul II had been interred earlier than their stays had been transferred to extra distinguished locations within the basilica above.

A written account of the pope’s life will likely be buried with him in his coffin, the Vatican introduced. The doc cited his theological and papal legacy, together with his outreach to Anglicans and Jews and his efforts to fight clergy sexual abuse “frequently calling the church to conversion, prayer, penance and purification.”