faithful mourn Benedict XVI at funeral presided over by pope - The associated Press - en Español

VATICAN city (AP) — With bells tolling, tens of thousands of devoted, political leaders and the pope himself mourned Benedict XVI, the German theologian who made historical past through resigning the papacy, at a infrequent requiem Mass Thursday for a dead pontiff presided over by means of a dwelling one.

the crowd applauded as pallbearers carried Benedict's cypress coffin out of the fog-shrouded St. Peter's Basilica and rested it earlier than the altar within the enormous square backyard. Pope Francis, donning the crimson vestments ordinary of papal funerals, then opened the service with a prayer and closed it by way of solemnly blessing the standard casket — adorned best with the former pope's coat of hands. It was later entombed within the basilica grotto.

Heads of state and royalty, clergy from worldwide and thousands of regular americans flocked to the ceremony, regardless of Benedict's request for simplicity and legitimate efforts to hold the primary funeral for an pope emeritus in modern times low-key.

Many mourners hailed from Benedict's native Bavaria and donned typical dress, including boiled wool coats to safeguard in opposition t the morning chill.

"We came to pay homage to Benedict and desired to be right here nowadays to assert goodbye," noted Raymond Mainar, who traveled from a small village east of Munich for the funeral. "He changed into a fine pope."

Ignoring exhortations for decorum on the end, some in the crowd held banners or shouted "Santo Subito!" — "Sainthood Now!" — echoing the spontaneous chants that erupted during St. John Paul II's 2005 funeral.

the previous Joseph Ratzinger, who died Dec. 31 at age 95, is considered one of the crucial twentieth century's optimal theologians and spent his lifetime upholding church doctrine. however he'll go down in historical past for a novel, progressive act that modified the future of the papacy: He retired, the first pope in six centuries to do so.

Francis has praised Benedict's braveness in stepping aside, announcing it "opened the door" for other popes to do the identical.

Some 50,000 americans attended Thursday's Mass, in response to the Vatican, after round 200,000 paid their respects throughout three days of public viewing.

handiest Italy and Germany were invited to ship legit delegations, however different leaders took the Vatican up on its present and got here of their "deepest capacity." They included a number of heads of state, at the least 4 major ministers and two delegations of royal representatives. furthermore, a host of patriarchs joined 125 cardinals in the seats to the aspect of the altar, and the Russian Orthodox Church sent its international envoy.

among these attending become Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, who become given special courtroom permission to attend the funeral. Zen become detained in may on suspicion of colluding with international forces below a China's national security law after he fell afoul of authorities over his participation in a now-silenced democracy flow. His passport was revoked when he became detained.

Benedict's close confidants had been additionally in attendance, and the previous pope's longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, bent down and kissed a booklet of the Gospels that turned into left open on the coffin before the ceremony started.

Matteo Colonna, a 20-yr-ancient seminarian from Teramo, Italy, talked about he came partially on account of the historical nature of the funeral — but also since it had own resonance for him.

"the first spark of my vocation began under the pontificate of Benedict, however then it became even more suitable under Pope Francis," Colonna referred to, whereas sitting in prayer in St. Peter's rectangular at first light. "I see a continuity between these two popes and the undeniable fact that today Francis is celebrating the funeral in Benedict's memory is an historical event."

but the provider became additionally big for what it lacked: the sensation of uncertainty that could at all times accompany the passing of a pope earlier than a new one is elected. With Francis in vicinity, Benedict's dying marked the conclusion of an extraordinary decade wherein a reigning pope lived alongside a retired one.

"Benedict has been the bridge between John Paul and Francis," referred to Alessandra Aprea, a 56-yr-ancient from Meta di Sorrento close Naples. "We could not have Francis with out him."

Early Thursday the Vatican released the official historical past of Benedict's lifestyles, a short doc in Latin that was positioned in a metal cylinder in his coffin earlier than it changed into sealed, along with the cash and medallions minted throughout his papacy and his pallium stoles.

The document gave plentiful attention to Benedict's historic resignation and spoke of him as "pope emeritus," citing verbatim the Latin words he uttered on Feb. 11, 2013, when he introduced he would retire.

The document, referred to as a "rogito" or deed, additionally mentioned his theological and papal legacy, including his outreach to Anglicans and Jews and his efforts to fight clergy sexual abuse "always calling the church to conversion, prayer, penance and purification."

Francis didn't point out Benedict's certain legacy in his homily and only uttered his identify once, in the ultimate line, offering instead a meditation on Jesus' willingness to entrust himself to God's will.

"keeping fast to the Lord's last words and to the witness of his complete life, we too, as an ecclesial group, wish to comply with in his steps and to commend our brother into the hands of the daddy," Francis noted at the end.

all through St. John Paul II's quarter-century as pope, Ratzinger spearheaded a crackdown on dissent as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, taking action in opposition t the left-leaning liberation theology that spread in Latin america within the 1970s and towards dissenting theologians and nuns who didn't toe the Vatican's difficult line on matters like sexual morals.

His legacy became marred via the clergy sexual abuse scandal, notwithstanding he identified earlier than most the "filth" of clergymen who raped toddlers, and really laid the groundwork for the Holy See to punish them.

As cardinal and pope, he handed sweeping church legislations that resulted in 848 monks being defrocked from 2004 to 2014, roughly his hold forth with a year on both conclusion. however abuse survivors nonetheless held him chargeable for the disaster, for failing to sanction any bishop who moved abusers round, refusing to mandate the reporting of sex crimes to police and picking him as embodying the clerical gadget that long blanketed the institution over victims.

Mike McDonnell of the U.S. abuse survivor neighborhood SNAP noted whereas Benedict passed new canon laws, he may have accomplished way more to have an effect on John Paul to take enterprise action. regarding Benedict's nickname as "God's Rottweiler,'" he spoke of: "You comprehend, in our in our view, it turned into a dog bark with no chew. definitely he could have carried out more."

a group representing German clergy abuse survivors called on German officials attending Benedict's funeral to demand greater action from the Vatican on sexual abuse. Eckiger Tisch asked German leaders to demand that Francis problem a "widespread church law" stipulating zero tolerance in coping with abuse by way of clergy.

The funeral ritual itself is modeled on the code used for useless popes but with some modifications given Benedict was now not a reigning pontiff when he died.

After the Mass, Benedict's cypress coffin become positioned internal a zinc one, then an outer very wellcasket before being entombed in the crypt within the grottoes underneath St. Peter's Basilica that as soon as held the tomb of St. John Paul II earlier than it became moved upstairs.

whereas Thursday's Mass was unusual, it does have some precedent: In 1802, Pope Pius VII presided over the funeral in St. Peter's of his predecessor, Pius VI, who had died in exile in France in 1799 as a prisoner of Napoleon.


linked Press journalist Trisha Thomas contributed.


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