Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign in over 600 years, dies at 95

Pope Benedict XVI, who served as the head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, passed away at his residence in the Vatican on Saturday after an extended illness. He was 95. Born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany, Benedict was the first pope to resign in over 600 years, doing so due to ill health. During his time as pope, he upheld the Church's traditional views on issues such as abortion and contraception.

Benedict's relationship with his successor, Pope Francis, was depicted in the 2019 film "The Two Popes," in which Benedict was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins and Francis was played by Jonathan Pryce. The film depicted Benedict's decision to step down as pope and the ensuing conversations between the two leaders.

The Vatican announced in a statement that Benedict's body will be at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome from Monday for "the greeting of the faithful," but funeral plans have not yet been released. During Benedict's tenure as pope, the Catholic Church faced widespread allegations and official reports of child abuse by priests. Benedict himself was accused of failing to address such abuse when he served as archbishop of Munich. In February 2022, he issued a statement expressing his "profound shame" and "deep sorrow" and asking for forgiveness from the victims of sexual abuse. He did not admit to any wrongdoing.

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