Pope praises ‘light’ Benedict forward of funeral

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis praised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s “acute and gentle thought” as he presided over a packed Wednesday common viewers within the Vatican, whereas 1000’s of individuals paid tribute to the previous pope on the ultimate day of public viewing in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Francis was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd within the Paul VI auditorium and shouts of “Viva il papa!” or “Long live the pope” as he arrived for his weekly catechism appointment with the trustworthy.

This week’s viewers was performed as tens of 1000’s of individuals continued to flock to St. Peter’s Basilica to pay their respects earlier than Benedict’s physique, mendacity in state. The primary two days of viewing drew a complete of 135,000 folks. Wednesday’s viewing started earlier than daybreak and was set to finish in early night.

Francis is because of preside over the late German pope’s funeral on Thursday, an occasion that’s drawing heads of state and royalty regardless of Benedict’s requests for simplicity and Vatican efforts to maintain the primary Vatican funeral for an emeritus pope in trendy instances low-key.

Francis drew applause when he opened his remarks by noting all those that had been outdoors paying tribute to Benedict, whom he referred to as a “great master of catechesis.”

“His acute and gentle thought was not self-referential, but ecclesial, because he always wanted to accompany us in the encounter with Jesus,” Francis stated.

Later Wednesday, Vatican officers had been to position Benedict’s physique in a cypress coffin — the primary of three coffins —together with a short, written abstract of his historic papacy, the cash minted throughout his hold forth and his pallium stoles.

After the funeral, the retired pontiff’s stays will likely be carried again into the basilica, the place the coffin will positioned inside a zinc one, after which lastly into one other created from oak.

In line with Benedict’s needs, his stays will likely be positioned within the crypt as soon as occupied by the tomb of St. John Paul II within the grottos beneath the basilica.

Benedict, who was elected pope in 2005 following John Paul’s loss of life, grew to become the primary pope in six centuries years to resign when he introduced in 2013 he now not had the energy to steer the Catholic Church. After Francis was elected pope, Benedict spent his practically decade-long retirement in a transformed monastery within the Vatican Gardens.

“We can’t forget the example that he gave in his resignation, that he more or less said, ‘Look, I’m not in this for the prestige, the power of the office, I’m in it for service, as Jesus taught,’” recalled Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whom Benedict named archbishop of New York in 2009 and cardinal in 2012. Dolan got here to Rome for the funeral.

Thursday’s ceremony takes under consideration the weird state of affairs by which a reigning pope will preside over a funeral for a retired one, making necessary adjustments to a funeral ritual for popes that’s extremely codified. Two key prayers, from the diocese of Rome and the Japanese ceremony church buildings, that had been recited throughout John Paul’s funeral, for instance, will likely be omitted as a result of Benedict wasn’t pope when he died and since each branches of the Catholic Church nonetheless have a reigning pope as their chief: Francis.

Whereas the funeral will likely be novel, it does has some precedent: In 1802, Pope Pius VII celebrated the funeral in St. Peter’s of his predecessor, Pius VI, who had died in exile in France in 1799 as a prisoner of Napoleon, the Vatican famous Wednesday.

Extra on the loss of life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: https://apnews.com/hub/pope-benedict-xvi

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