Mourners flooded St. Peter’s Square, hoping to pay one last tribute to the pope who retired and made history.
ROME, ITALY — Mourners flooded St. Peter’s Square early Thursday morning. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIa final tribute to the retired German theologian who made history, and hopes to participate in a rare Requiem Mass for the Dead Popes presided over by a living Pope.
A thick fog blanketed the Vatican before dawn as civil protection forces and police set up metal detectors and barricades to guide those who wanted to the square. Police estimated that about 100,000 people would attend, up from an initial estimate of 60,000, Italian media reported, citing police security plans.
Despite President Benedict’s demands for brevity and the Vatican’s efforts to make it the first honorary pope’s funeral to be low-key in modern times, Francis plans to preside over the funeral. Only Italy and Germany are official representatives. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Italian President Sergio Mattarella confirmed their participation.
However, other heads of state and government have accepted the Vatican’s offer and decided to participate in their “private capacity”. They included several other heads of state, at least four prime ministers, and two royal delegations.
At the funeral, Benedict’s coffin must be carried out of the cathedral and placed in front of the altar while the devotees recite the Rosary.of The ritual itself is modeled after the code It is used for dead Popes, but with some modifications considering that Benedict was not the reigning Pope when he died.
After Mass, Benedict’s cypress coffin is placed in a zinc coffin, then in an outer oak coffin, once the tomb of St. John Paul II before being moved upstairs Buried in the crypt of a cave under the cathedral. main basilica.
About 200,000 people paid their respects to Benedict during three days of public viewing at St. Peter’s Basilica. One of his last, Friar Rosario Vitale, prayed beside his body for his hour. He said Benedict gave him a special preparation to begin the process of becoming a priest, which was required due to his physical disability.
“So today I came here to pray on his grave, on his body, and say ‘thank you’ for my future priesthood and my ministry,” he said. “I owe him a lot. Being able to pray over his beer for an hour was a real gift to me.”
The former Joseph Ratzinger, who died December 31 at the age of 95, is considered one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century and spent his life upholding the doctrines of the Church. But he will go down in history for the singular revolutionary act that changed the future of the Pope. he retired He is the first pope to retire in the 6th century.
Francis praised Benedict’s courage in stepping aside when he believed he no longer had the power to lead the church, saying it “opened the door” for other popes doing the same. Recently, he said he had already left written instructions outlining the conditions under which he would resign if he became incapacitated.
Benedict never intended for his retirement to last this long, nearly a decade longer than his eight years in the papacy. Protocol prompt call Guide future popes emeritus to avoid confusion about who is actually in charge.
During St. John Paul II’s quarter-century as Pope, the former Joseph Ratzinger took action against the left-leaning liberation theology that spread in Latin America in the 1970s, cracking down on dissent as head of the Ministry of Faith and Doctrine. led the And against dissident theologians and nuns who have not followed the Vatican’s hard line on issues like sexual morality.
His legacy was marred by clerical sexual abuse scandals, but he was the first to recognize the “filth” of a priest who raped a child, and he was the first to lay the groundwork for the Holy See to punish children. built.
As cardinal and pope, he passed a broad canon that disqualified 848 priests from 2004 to 2014.Abuse survivors, however, relocate their abusers and Embodiment of clerical work It has protected institutions longer than its victims.
“Celebrations commemorating the lives of those who foster abuse like Benedict must end,” said SNAP, a leading U.S. survivor group.
His funeral is a novelty, but there are some precedents. In 1802, Pope Pius VII presided over the funeral of his predecessor Pius VI, who had fled to France as a prisoner of Napoleon in 1799, in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/nation-world/pope-emeritus-benedict-xvi-funeral/507-a6b0e9a8-457d-422c-ad79-4e95d68b40c1 Mourning at Funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI