BREAKING – Pope Benedict XVI has died aged 95

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Pope Benedict XVI who has been ill and under constant care finally passed away on Saturday, December 31.

His death was announced by the Vatican who have said his remains will be exhibited in St Peter’s Basilica from Monday.


Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, stepping down nine years ago. The first German pope in 1,000 years, Benedict left behind a church more in controversy with sex scandals, mismanagement and polarisation.

Although he enjoyed good relations with his successor, he proved divisive preferring to retain tradition and opposing the modernisation of the church.

By his own admission, he was a weak leader that struggled to fully control the Vatican allowing the church to stumble from one crisis to another.  He was, however, the first to acknowledge the claims of sexual abuse in the church issuing a formal apology.

But he failed in trying to stem the flow out of and away from the Catholic Church .

Having missed some good opportunities to heal the wounds of the church he finally shocked the world in 2013 by telling that world that he was too old and frail to lead the church and that he was resigning.

Once he left the post he was rarely seen in public although many of his writings continued to cause controversy. A piece he wrote in 2019 for a church magazine suggested the abuse of children by priests was a result of the sexual revolution. Critics rounded in on him and the church who they blamed for trying to shift the blame away from the leadership.

The controversy did not end there. He demonised Muslims and angered Jews by rehabilitating a holocaust denier.  he also interfered in the workings of the Vatican resulting in papers that were leaked which showed the institution to be mired in corruption, intrigue and feuding.

Benedict did visit his homeland three times as pope and confronted its dark past. Visiting the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland he called himself “a son of Germany.” He prayed and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million victims, most of them Jews, died there during World War Two.

Despite his shortcomings, Pope Benedict XVI who has died at the age of 95 will long be remembered by the Catholic Church and others for the good that he did do.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]