February 6, 2023

The funeral of Pope Benedict XVI begins in the Vatican

Thousands of people went to the Vatican today on the first day of the wake Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on Saturday (31 years old) at the age of 95.

The priest’s body will be displayed in St. Peter’s Basilica until Thursday (5), when the funeral will take place. The ceremony will be hosted by Pope Francis.

This will be the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that a current Pope will bury another Pope.

Tens of thousands of people, including heads of state and leaders of other faiths, are expected to attend the Pope’s funeral, the 265th in history.

The Vatican said in a statement that the ceremony will begin at 5:30 am (Brasilian time) and will be simple at the request of Benedict XVI, as he will be buried in the Vatican caves where the tombs of the popes are located.

a line of people for the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died at the age of 95 on December 31; The ceremony takes place in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Photo: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP

The Pope Emeritus’ body was transferred Monday morning to St. Peter’s Basilica and will be displayed to the public between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time. On Tuesday, the public will be able to pay their respects between 6am and 6pm. Entry is free and you do not need to book an appointment.

Yours sincerely and respected Italian Prime Minister

One of the first visitors was the Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloniwho arrived at the scene early.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attends the reception of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican - Vatican via AFP - Vatican via AFP

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attends the wake of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Photo: Vatican via AFP

The line of believers in St. Peter’s Square began to form at dawn.

“I arrived at six in the morning,” said Anna Maria, an Italian nun. “For me, it seems natural to respect him after all he has done for the Church.”

a The Vatican released the first photos of the Pope Emeritus on Sunday.the first to quit in more than 600 years.

A new phase: Can Francis resign?

The death of Benedict XVI also opens a new phase for the pontificate of Pope Francis, now 86, who has admitted, on several occasions, that he has not ruled out resignation, in case of physical incapacity – an impossible option with two popes in the Vatican. , honorary and another ruler. Three Popes are inconceivable even for the most anticlerical of them.

For many Vatican observers and supporters, Francis is committed to a series of internal reforms and is not, for the time being, considering abdication.

He even managed to establish rules for titular popes, following the precedent set by Benedict XVI, the first in six centuries of history to resign.

*With information from Reuters and AFP