Benedict’s supporters demand sainthood as coffin carried for burial in St. Peter’s Basilica7 hours in the past
On the finish of a solemn funeral on a chilly foggy day, Pope Francis rose from his wheelchair in St. Peter’s Sq. and, with the assistance of a cane, stood earlier than the straightforward picket casket containing the physique of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
He bowed earlier than the casket, held aloft by 12 pallbearers carrying gray jackets and white shirts and bowties, simply earlier than it was to enter the primary door of St. Peter’s Basilica. He positioned his proper hand on the coffin and blessed it earlier than closing his eyes for just a few moments of reflection as the gang clapped. Some shouted “santo subito” – saint now – their name to have Benedict canonized shortly.
The straightforward ceremony, which started at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, noticed an incumbent pope presiding over the funeral of one other pope – unprecedented in fashionable instances. It symbolized the top of the unusual “two popes” period. Benedict, who died at 95 on the final day of December at his residence within the Vatican gardens, resigned in 2013, changing into the primary pope to not “die on the cross” in additional than 600 years.
Francis opened his eulogy with the final phrases of Jesus, which have been spoken on the cross. “Father, into your arms I commend my spirit,” Francis mentioned, talking in Italian.
He closed the eulogy by saying, “Benedict, trustworthy buddy of the Bridegroom, could your pleasure be full as you hear his voice, now and without end.”
Benedict’s funeral was small in contrast with that of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. His funeral on April 8, 2005, stuffed the streets of Rome and the Vatican with three million mourners.
Some media studies mentioned Benedict’s funeral mass attracted about 100,000 individuals, although a Vatican spokesman put the determine at about half that. St. Peter’s Sq. was actually not full, and solely the heads of state and authorities of Italy and Germany, the place Benedict was born, attended the mass. Some authorities leaders, together with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, paid their respects to Benedict privately within the days earlier than the funeral.
Benedict held extremely conventional views of Catholicism and lots of within the crowd admired him for his conservative stance. He strongly opposed the ordination of ladies and fortified the Vatican’s views that contraception shouldn’t be allowed. He additionally pushed for the return of the outdated Latin mass, which attracted orthodox churchgoers, if not many religious younger Catholics.
T. Ripley Parker, 26, a visible results specialist from Vancouver, was on vacation in Rome when Benedict died and prolonged her keep within the metropolis so she might attend the funeral. She mentioned she transformed from Episcopalian to Catholicism as a result of she preferred Benedict’s rejection of modernism.
“I felt the Latin mass was extra related to me, as a result of I like a critical, conventional service,” she mentioned. “I understand that Benedict and Francis are very totally different, however they discovered from one another and weren’t divisive with one another, which was good for the church.”
Eva Benedicta Sherpa, from Erfurt, Germany, mentioned she had met Benedict a number of instances and revered him for stepping down, although his resignation saddened her. “I cried when he resigned,” she mentioned. “He was like a father to me. However I do know he didn’t have sufficient vitality, sufficient energy, to hold on. If he had not resigned, I believe he would have died just a few months later.”
The resignation of Benedict, whose beginning title was Joseph Ratzinger, stays a thriller. He mentioned he now not had the “willpower and physique” to hold on, although he lived for nearly a full decade after he left the papacy.
Benedict’s loss of life has Vatican watchers questioning whether or not Francis may also resign – and, in that case, when. The 86-year-old Argentine-born pontiff has overtly mused a number of instances about stepping down. Final July, when he was returning to Rome after his Canadian tour, he advised reporters on his flight that the “door is open” to his retirement.
Sandro Magister, an Italian journalist who has written two books on ecclesiastical affairs, just lately advised Euronews that he thinks Francis’s resignation is feasible however not imminent regardless that he has problem strolling and had colon surgical procedure in 2021.
“In actuality when you observe him, he leads a really sustained, frenetic, breathless rhythm of life, whatever the knee illnesses,” he mentioned. “His fast-paced life is just not the life of somebody who’s about to resign.”
Benedict was buried within the Vatican’s grottoes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica.