LIVE: the burning chapel began to say goodbye to Benedict XVI in the Basilica of Saint Peter


Starting this Monday, Catholics will be able to pay their respects at the Vatican to the ex dad Benedict XVIwhose body will rest in the burning chapel for three days in the basilica of Saint Peter before his funeral.

The rites of the burning chapel, which began at 9 in the morning (local time), will last for three days so that the faithful can say goodbye.

The Basilica will remain open for ten hours this Mondaybut this period will increase on Tuesday and Wednesday, since the faithful will be able to pass before the body of the deceased pope from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (local time).

On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., his successor, Francisco, will preside over the funeral in Saint Peter’s Square, in the presence of the faithful, official delegations from Italy and Ratzinger’s native Germany, as well as other authorities that are expected to be summoned.

The funeral chapel began in St. Peter’s Basilica to bid farewell to Benedict XVI. (Vatican Media via REUTERS)

The German theologian, who died on Saturday at the age of 95, led the Catholic Church for eight years before becoming the first pope in six centuries to resign in 2013.

After the funeral, his remains will be entombed in the tombs under St. Peter’s Basilica.

Benedict died in the monastery Mater Ecclesiae inside the Vatican gardens, which had been his home for the past decade.

His body was transferred early Monday morning to the basilica where, for three days during daylight hours, the faithful will be able to say goodbye.

The rites of the burning chapel, which began at 9 in the morning (local time), will last for three days. (REUTERS/Ciro DeLuca)
The rites of the burning chapel, which began at 9 in the morning (local time), will last for three days. (REUTERS/Ciro DeLuca)

The Vatican released photos of his corpse on Sunday, dressed in red robes of papal mourning and with a gold-edged miter on his headon a catafalque in the monastery chapel.

The surprise resignation of Benedict XVI created the extraordinary situation of having two “men in white,” himself and Francis, in the Vatican.

His funeral will also break new ground.

Papal deaths usually trigger the calling of a conclave of cardinals to choose a successor, but this time Francisco remains in office and will direct the proceedings.

The funeral of Benedict XVI will be “solemn but simple”the Vatican said, after which he will be buried in the papal tombs under St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral service for Benedict XVI (REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane)
Pope Francis will preside over the funeral service for Benedict XVI (REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane)

The Vatican has not yet released details of the guest list, beyond saying it will include delegations from Italy and the Germany birthplace of Benedict XVI.

The last papal funeral, of John Paul II in 2005, it drew a million worshipers and heads of state from around the world, though Benedict was a more divisive figure.

A brilliant theologian, he alienated many Catholics with his staunch defense of traditional values ​​and, as pope, worked to assert his authority over the church while battling a series of crisesincluding for clergy sexual abuse.

His successor has a very different figure, an Argentine Jesuit who feels more at home among his flock and has sought to forge a more compassionate church.

Pope Benedict XVI worked to assert his authority over the church while battling a series of crises, including clergy sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Benedict XVI worked to assert his authority over the church while battling a series of crises, including clergy sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis paid tribute to Benedict at three New Year’s events at the Vatican over the weekend, “thanking God for the gift of this faithful servant of the Gospel and of the Church.”

Francisco, 86, raised the possibility of following the example of Benedict and resign if you are unable to fulfill your duties.

In July, after suffering knee problems that have forced him to depend on a wheelchair, he admitted that he needed to slow down or think about pulling over.

Last month, Francisco revealed that he had signed a letter of resignation when he took office in case his poor health prevented him from carrying out his duties.

(With information from AFP)

Keep reading:

The complicated situation in the Vatican that came to an end with the death of Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI, the theologian pope who revolutionized Vatican tradition with his resignation, has died
They released the first images of the body of Benedict XVI in the Vatican’s burning chapel


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