Former Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, passed away at the age of 95.
His death comes after Pope Francis announced Benedict was “very sick” during his weekly audience on December 28.
Pope Benedict XVI led the Catholic Church from 2005 until 2013, when he resigned, becoming the first pope to do so in 600 years.
Benedict’s unexpected resignation from his role as a Pope shocked the Catholic world, forcing the church to grapple with an event not seen in centuries.
In a statement issued on Saturday, December 31st, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruno said below:
“With sorrow, I inform you that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away today at 9.34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
“Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”