This week’s general audience was conducted. As tens of thousands of people flocked to St. Peter’s Basilica to pay their respects before Benedict’s body.
Benedict ahead of funeral Pope praises ‘gentle’
Pope Francis praised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s “intense. And tender thinking.” As he presided over a packed general audience. At the Vatican on Wednesday. As thousands paid their respects to the former pope on his final day of public viewing at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Francis was welcomed into the Paul VI Auditorium by an enthusiastic crowd and chants of “Viva il Papa!” shouted. or “Long live the Pope” as he arrived for his weekly catechism appointment with the faithful.
This week’s audience was held as thousands thronged St Peter’s. Basilica to pay their respects before Benedict’s body, which lay in state. The first two days of viewing attracted a total of 135,000 people. Wednesday’s meet started before dawn and is set to end in the evening.
Francis will preside over the late German pope’s funeral on Thursday. An event that is attracting heads of state and royals despite Benedict’s pleas for simplicity. And Vatican efforts to keep the first Vatican funeral for an emeritus pope low-key in modern times.
Francis opened his remarks by addressing all those paying homage to Benedict, whom he called “the great master of catechesis.”
“His intense and gentle thoughts were not self-referential. But religious, because he always wanted to go with us to encounter Jesus,” Francis said.
Later Wednesday, Vatican officials were to place Benedict’s body in a Cypriot coffin — the first of three coffins — along with a brief. Written summary of his historic papacy. Coins engraved during his pontificate and his pallium.
After the funeral, the remains of the retired pontiff will be returned to the basilica. Where the coffin will be placed inside a zinc and then finally another one made from oak.
Pope praises ‘gentle’ Benedict ahead of funeral
By Benedict’s wishes. His remains will be placed in the crypt occupied by the tomb of St. John Paul II in the grottoes below the basilica.
Became the first pope in six centuries to resign. When he announced in 2013 that he no longer had the strength to lead the Catholic Church. Benedict spent his nearly decade-long retirement in a converted monastery in the Vatican Gardens.
“We can’t forget the example he gave in his resignation. That he pretty much said, ‘Look, I’m not in it for the prestige. The power of the office, I’m in it for the service. Because Jesus taught,'” recalled Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Whom Benedict Named Archbishop of New York in 2009 and Cardinal in 2012. Dolan came to Rome for the funeral.
Thursday’s ceremony considered the unusual situation in which a reigning pope would preside over. The funeral of a retired person, making significant changes to a funeral rite for popes that is codified.
For example, two key prayers from the Diocese of Rome. And the Church of the Eastern Rite recited at John Paul’s funeral will be omitted. Because Benedict was not pope when he died and both branches of the Catholic Church still hold sway. The Pope as their leader: Francis.
Although the funeral would be novel. It has some precedent: in 1802. Pope Pius VII celebrated the funeral in St. Peter’s of his predecessor. Pius VI, who died in exile in France in 1799 as a prisoner of Napoleon, the Vatican. mentioned on Wednesday.