Home World News Funeral of Benedict XVI: in a Rome shrouded in fog, tens of thousands of people greet the pope emeritus

Funeral of Benedict XVI: in a Rome shrouded in fog, tens of thousands of people greet the pope emeritus

Funeral of Benedict XVI: in a Rome shrouded in fog, tens of thousands of people greet the pope emeritus

The reigning Pope, Francis, presided over a morning that shrouded Rome in fog over the solemn funeral of his predecessor, the emeritus Benedict XVI, in front of tens of thousands of faithful. In his homily, the Argentine pontiff thanked the German Joseph Ratzinger for his work as a pastor with “wisdom, delicacy and delivery”.

At the end of the mass, the gentlemen who carried Benedict’s coffin on their shoulders stopped in front of the standing Pope. Francisco put his right hand on the morgue drawer and he prayed in silence, greeting his predecessor. Then he bowed and said a few more words.

It was 10:45 in Rome, four hours earlier in Argentina. As the gentlemen carried his coffin to his burial in the Vatican Grottoes, Pope Francis sat in his wheelchair and left the altar area. The crowd began to thin out.

A unique ceremony in history

he concluded an extraordinary ceremonyunique in the modern history of the Catholic Church, in which a reigning Pope presided over the funeral of his predecessor, who by his resignation had led a revolution of modernization, the first spontaneously presented by a head of the Church in at least six centuries.

The ceremony began shortly after the gentlemen entered the tabernacle of the basilica overlooking St. Peter’s Square. The simple wooden coffin with the remains of Pope Benedict XVI was placed in front of the altar. Above was placed the book of the Gospels.

It is estimated that nearly 200,000 people marched in the three days from the burning chapel at the foot of the main altar of the Confession, to the center of the Pontifical Basilica of St. Peter.


Among the world personalities present at the funeral, only two delegations, that of Germany and that of Italythey were officially invited because Benedict XVI was not a reigning Pope. The presidents of both nations presided over the official representations: the Italian Sergio Mattarella and the German Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Among those present were King Philip of Belgium, Sofia the Queen Mother of Spain, the presidents of Poland, Togo and Portugal.

Argentina was represented by Ambassador María Fernanda Silva.

Among the religious personalities, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk represented the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.

Pope Francis presided over the religious ceremony and the celebrant was the Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re because the osteoarthritis problems of the pontiff prevents this effort.

They also concelebrated 130 cardinals, 400 bishops and 4,000 priests gift.

In his homily, the Argentine pontiff dismissed the pastor Benedict XVI, recalling that his predecessor, who died on Saturday at the age of 95, acted “with wisdom, delicacy and dedication”.

Sitting next to the altar because of his knee problems, he began with the words “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”, the same words that Jesus pronounced on the cross according to the Gospels.

“We too, clinging to the last words of the Lord and to the testimony that marked his life, want as an ecclesial community to follow in his footsteps and entrust our brothers and sisters into the hands of the Father. May these hands of mercy find their lamp lit with the oil of the Gospel which He spread and testified during His lifetime”.

Francisco it alluded to Benedict’s resignation. He recalled “the pastor’s awareness of not being able to bear alone what, in reality, alone he could never bear. This is why he is capable of abandoning himself to prayer and to the care of the people entrusted to him”.

Pope Bergoglio recalled the words of St. Gregory the Great to a friend: «In the midst of the storms of my life, I am encouraged by the trust that you will keep me afloat on the table of your prayers, and if the weight of my guilt lowers and humbles me, I you will give the help of your merits to get me up again”.

“The faithful people of God, gathered together, accompany and entrust the life of those who have been their shepherd”.

Blessed resigned by surprise From February 28, 2013 he was pope emeritus for nine years and ten months and resided in a monastery in the Vatican gardens until his death last Saturday at the age of 95.

In his homily, Francis added that “like the women of the Gospel at the tomb, we are here with the scent of gratitude and the ointment of hope to show you, once again, that love that cannot be lost. We want to do it now with the same anointing, wisdom, delicacy and dedication that he has been able to spread over the years ”concluded Francesco:“ Father, into your hands we entrust his spirit ”.

After the funeral, the Pope presided over the rite of Last commendation -the last recommendation- and the Valedictio (farewell).

The body of Benedict was later found in the crypt of the Vatican Grottoes, in the tomb in who asked to be buried. There were subsequently the bodies of John XXIII and John Paul II until, having been proclaimed saints, they were transferred to the upper floor, to two chapels of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican correspondent


Source: Clarin


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