Pope Benedict XVI Former head of the Catholic Church, has died at the age of 95 years.
The announcement of the pope emeritus demise was publicized in a terse statement by Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni on Thursday.
The statement reads, “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.”
Recall that pope Benedict in 2013 became the first pontiff to resign as head of the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages.
His successor Pope Francis will lead the funeral on 5 January.
The Vatican said the body of the Pope Emeritus will be placed in St Peter’s Basilica from 2 January for “the greeting of the faithful”.
Bells rang out from Munich cathedral and a single bell was heard ringing from St Peter’s Square in Rome after the former pope’s death was announced.