The Vatican announced that the late Pope Benedict XVI will be buried on January 5th. His body will be laid to rest in St Peter’s Basilica from Monday for a final farewell. But there is still a lot of uncertainty about what should happen next.
At 9:34 a.m. on Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI died at the Abbey of the Mother Church in Vatican City. This was reported by a spokesperson. Normally, the Vatican follows very complicated protocols in the event of a pope’s death, but what must happen when a retired pope dies is not much known. The pope usually serves until his death: Benedict was the first in 600 years to abdicate.
Starting Monday, the body will be laid to rest in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City so that the faithful who wish can pay their respects there.
It was also announced that his funeral would take place on Thursday, January 5, with Pope Francis presiding. The Vatican said the pope would then be buried in a crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. “The coffin of our Holy Father, Pope Emeritus, will be transferred to St. Peter’s Basilica for burial in the Grotto of the Vatican,” the Holy See’s press office said in a statement.
Benedict spent the last years of his life in a converted monastery in the Vatican Gardens. He chooses to keep his papal name and wears white robes, like the reigning Pope Francis.
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