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Benedict XVI receives tributes from Pope Francis

Pope Francis presided over memorial services for Pope Benedict XVI, who passed away at the age of 95.

The Pope praised Benedict for his goodness and noble character, calling him a “gift” to the Roman Catholic Church.

Among the numerous leaders who praised the previous pope were King Charles III and US Vice President Joe Biden.

The first pope to resign in 600 years, Benedict did so in 2013 due to ill health. On January 5, there will be a funeral service in the Vatican.

Pope Francis hailed his “dearest” predecessor hours after learning of his passing and emphasized “his sacrifices rendered for the sake of the Church.”

President Biden, the second Catholic to hold the presidency in the US after John F. Kennedy, issued a statement through the White House.

The president recalled meeting Benedict in 2011 at the Vatican and said that he would be remembered “as a great theologian, with a lifetime of dedication to the Church, motivated by his beliefs and faith.”

King Charles III of the UK expressed “great grief” upon learning of the former Pope’s passing.

He emphasized Benedict’s “continuous efforts to promote peace and goodwill to all people” and his initiatives to foster ties between Catholics and Anglicans in a condolence letter to Pope Francis.

Leaders of nations with sizable Catholic populations have also expressed appreciation.

While Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar referred to the previous pope as a “humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord,” Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s next prime minister, called Benedict a “giant of faith and reason” and “a wonderful man whom history will not forget.”

Joseph Ratzinger, the name under which Benedict was born in Bavaria, was named Munich’s archbishop in 1977.

The city’s response to his death was mixed; one local called him “conservative” and took pride in the fact that he was German.

One more was harsher.

“I believed that when Francis assumed office, he would finally infuse the Catholic Church with new life and put an end to celibacy. But regrettably, he let me down,” Christa Herwig told the Reuters news service.

The late pope was referred to be “a formative character of the Catholic Church, a straightforward personality, and a smart theologian” by the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

But Scholz also referred to him as a contentious character.

Benedict denounced the  liberalism of the 1960s and the disregard for God’s teaching for clergy abuse in 2019.

During a large portion of his pontificate, the Catholic Church was the subject of accusations, legal actions, and official reports investigating decades of priestly child abuse.

The former pope said earlier this year that mistakes had been made in the treatment of abuse allegations while he served as the archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.

The former pope requested pardon for any “grievous sin” in a letter made public by the Vatican, but he denied any misconduct on his own.

A German court investigation investigating the Catholic Church claimed in January that he neglected to take action in four cases of child abuse.

The Catholic world has lost an unrivaled repository of theological knowledge, intellectualism, and personal experience with the passing of Pope Benedict XI.

In the nearly ten years following his resignation, little has changed in terms of the Vatican’s doctrinal debate; nonetheless, the papacy’s atmosphere has altered.

Pope Francis is well known for taking a more pastoral approach, and the cardinals he has appointed reflect this apparent move toward Asia and Latin America.

The Pope Emeritus has recently become something of a rallying point for those hostile to the incoming Pope, although not seeming to want it.

There had been rumors that Pope Francis, who has been ailing himself, had thought about resigning but was hesitant to do so if it meant there would be three popes in Rome.

Although it wasn’t quite “The Two Popes,” there was reportedly a great deal of respect between the predecessor and the successor despite their differences. In the following days, we’re certain to hear more about that, especially in Pope Francis’ speech during the funeral on Thursday.

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