THE VATICAN, December 31. /TASS/. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has passed away at the age of 95, Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni said on Saturday.
“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today,” he said. Beginning on Monday morning, January 2, “the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can bid farewell,” according to the spokesman.
As reported earlier, the health of the Pope Emeritus had worsened and Pope Francis publicly asked to pray for him. On December 28, he visited his predecessor in a former monastery in the Vatican where the Pope Emeritus resided following his resignation.
The funeral ritual has not yet been defined since there was no precedent of burying a Pope Emeritus. According to the Repubblica newspaper, Pope Francis may conduct a funeral service, the farewell may last several days and the funeral will be attended by spiritual and political leaders.
A source in the Vatican told a TASS correspondent that the funeral ritual will be the same as for a sitting Pope since technically Benedict is “the head of state”.
The possible meaning of the number 95 is derived from events both within and outside Scripture.
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which would become the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation, is a list of criticisms he had against the Roman Catholic Church. In 1517 A.D., this list of 95 complaints, according to the Catholics, was nailed onto a door that served those attending university.
“. . . Luther affixed to the castle church door, which served as the “black-board” of the university, on which all notices of disputations and high academic functions were displayed, his Ninety-five (95) Theses” (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on Martin Luther).
Luther’s list delineated his disagreement with the church in regard to papal authority, the existence of purgatory and the selling of indulgences to name a few. Indulgences, which were sold by the clergy and open to abuse, allowed the purchaser to lessen their temporal punishment in purgatory after they died. This evil practice, which has no support in the Bible, is known as Simony (named after Simon Magus, Acts 8:9 – 24).
The Tribulation is commencing..
Please repent, carry your cross daily and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ’s Death on the Cross for payment for your sins.
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