Pope Benedict has been dealing with an illness for the last year that he said would likely result in his passing.
“Quite soon, I shall find myself before the final judge of my life,” Pope Benedict wrote last February.
On Saturday morning, he passed away peacefully at a monastery, according to a statement released by the Vatican.
Benedict was known for imposing church reforms to deal with a sex scandal that plagued the Vatican, and his outspoken views on the church falling away from traditional Catholic teaching.
He was also a renowned theologian and known for his ability to speak to parishioners in an accessible way about the faith.
Pope Benedict wrote about his eventual passing months before it happened, saying that he trusted the lord to judge him and all others justly.
“Even though, as I look back on my long life, I can have great reason for fear and trembling, I am nonetheless of good cheer,” he continued, “for I trust firmly that the Lord is not only the just judge, but also the friend and brother who himself has already suffered for my shortcomings, and is thus also my advocate, my ‘Paraclete.’”
ROME — Benedict XVI, the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, died peacefully in his bed Saturday morning, the Vatican announced.
“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” wrote Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a statement. “Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday, Pope Francis appealed for special prayers for Benedict, warning that the former pontiff was “seriously ill,” following the former pope’s temporary loss of consciousness on Tuesday evening.
Benedict succeeded Saint John Paul II in leading the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, reigning from April 19, 2005 until his resignation on February 28, 2013. The German pope shocked the world when he announced his intention to resign, the first pope to do so in some 600 years.
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to adequately exercising the Petrine ministry,” he told the cardinals.”
Brian Church of Catholic Vote offered the following statement following Pope Benedict’s passing:
“By now I suspect you have heard the news. Our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed into eternal life at 9:34 AM this morning in Rome. As pope, cardinal, and theologian, Benedict XVI embodied the role of “servant of the servants of God.” Americans had a special reason to love Benedict XVI, affectionately called “our German shepherd.” He challenged us to reflect deeply on the meaning of human freedom… and to resist the “dictatorship of relativism.” His words were prophetic: “We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” ~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Opening Homily of the 2005 Papal Conclave”