AThis Sunday marks one year since the death of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI.

The news arrived early in the morning, shortly after 9:30 am, 8:30 am in Lisbon, with the Vatican confirming the death of the German, who died at the age of 95.

“With regret I inform you that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away today at 9:34 am [8h34 em Lisboa]in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, in the Vatican”, announced the Vatican, at the time, in a statement.

His death came after, on December 28, 2022, Pope Francis asked for a “special prayer” for Ratzinger, who was “severely ill”.

The Pope’s body was in St. Peter’s Basilica on January 2nd, so that the faithful could “say goodbye”.

The last words

The nurse reported to Joseph Ratzinger’s personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, about the Pope Emeritus’ last words. Six hours before he died, Benedict XVI was seriously ill, but not yet dying, as assured by the nurse who heard him say the phrase “Lord, I love you”in Italian, since he doesn’t speak German.

“Benedict XVI, in a low but distinct voice, said in Italian ‘Lord, I love you’. He wasn’t there at that moment, but that’s what the nurse told me afterwards. These were the last understandable words because after that no was once again able to express himself”, said Monsignor Georg Gänswein.

One year later…

This Sunday, Vatican News published an article by Father Lombardi, one of the protagonists of post-Council ecclesiastical communication, and director of the Holy See Press Office with Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

“A year after the death of Benedict XVI, the theme on which it would be fair and natural to reflect is his heritage. This is a figure to be entrusted, above all, to masters of reading the past or a figure that continues to challenge us, today, precisely in this dramatic moment in which we live?”, he began by writing.

Stressing that the Pope Emeritus (was a “master of the faith”, Lombardi highlighted that “J. Ratzinger continues to be a precious companion, also for those who are living, with participation and passion, the vicissitudes of human life and history on this earth, with all its current and dramatic issues.”

Reactions to death

The Pope’s funeral took place on January 5th and, among other leaders and personalities, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was present. On the day of his death, the head of state described Benedict VXI as “a symbol of stability and defense of the values ​​of the Catholic Church”.

“Love for others, Solidarity and support for the poorest and most vulnerable and the importance of Forgiveness and Reconciliation”, he highlighted, in a note published on the Presidency’s website.

Other leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sent their condolences. “He was a great spiritual leader fully committed to the historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, which he expressed movingly during his historic visit to Israel in 2009,” he said at the time.

The still President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, mourned the death of Benedict XVI today and praised the pope emeritus’ criticism of “Marxism”, joining in the tributes arriving from around the world, including the African Union, which has 55 states. members.

Lusa | 07:20 – 01/01/2023

Conservative papacy stained by cases of pedophilia

In February 2013, then Pope Benedict XVI shocked the Catholic world by announcing that he would abdicate, just eight years after being appointed by the 2015 Conclave, at the age of 78. At the time, the Pope Emeritus justified the decision for health reasons.

His departure was made official on February 28th. Benedict XVI was the first Pope to abdicate since Pope Gregory XII, in 1415. He was the eighth Pope of German nationality.

If his CV as a theologian already showed strong conservative and traditional views, his papacy saw a consolidation of these positions. Between 2005 and 2013, Benedict XVI had a ‘mandate’ guided by a fight against attempts to innovate the Catholic Church and against social activism, especially at a time when the right to abortion grew exponentially throughout the world (including in Portugal, in 2007) .

But his papacy was essentially marked by the scandal of sexual abuse of minors carried out by hundreds of priests in 2009 in the Irish Catholic Church. A report revealed that the Archdiocese of Dublin promoted a culture of total cover-up of pedophilia cases, estimating that there were a total of 15,000 victims between the 1970s and 1990s. The scandal assumed similar proportions to the scandal in Boston, in 2002.

It was later revealed that Pope Benedict XVI had removed almost 400 priests between 2011 and 2012 over accusations of pedophilia.

The Pope Emeritus himself was, this year, at the center of a new controversy regarding the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church. A report by the German church revealed that then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger helped hide four cases of pedophilia, which emerged between 1977 and 1982.

Read Also: Pope Francis laments that “the world laughs at Christians”

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