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Saturday 31 December 2022: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who served as Supreme Pontiff from April 2005 to February 2013, has died aged 95, the Vatican has confirmed.

A short statement from Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, said: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34am in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.”

The Holy See press office has confirmed the date of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s funeral.

It will take place at 9:30am (8:30am UK time) on Thursday, 5 January 2023, in St Peter’s Square presided over by Pope Francis.

As of Monday morning, 2 January, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.

Watch live from St Peter's Square

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, will be travelling to Rome to attend the Funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict on Thursday.

A comprehensive webpage has been developed with a lot of information relating to the life and work of the Pope Emeritus, which is found on the Bishops’ Conference website

Archbishop Bernard Longley said: "I pray for the repose of the soul of His Holiness Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI as his long life of devoted service comes to a close. May he now enjoy forever the company of the saints and the reward of all the Lord's good and faithful servants.

"I recall with gratitude the warmth and impact of Pope Benedict's presence during his State Visit in 2010 and especially during his visit to Birmingham for the Beatification of Cardinal Newman. He showed us the love of the pastor's heart which had guided his ministry as priest, as bishop and as Supreme Pastor.

"I am grateful for the prayerful way that he supported his successor Pope Francis, continuing to promote the unity and mission of the Church.

"On behalf of the clergy, Religious and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Birmingham I offer our condolences and pray that Emeritus Pope Benedict may rest in peace with his risen Lord."

A book of condolence will be available at St Chad's Cathedral from today.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Pope Benedict. He will be remembered as one of the great theologians of the 20th century.

“I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met.”

“He was through and through a gentleman, through and through a scholar, through and through a pastor, through and through a man of God – close to the Lord and always his humble servant.”

“Pope Benedict is very much in my heart and in my prayers. I give thanks to God for his ministry and leadership.

”The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales will celebrate Requiem Masses for the repose of the soul of the late Pope Emeritus in their cathedrals. Prayer cards have been distributed to Catholic parishes throughout the two countries.


Benedict XVI was Pope for less than eight years – 19 April 2005 to 28 February 2013 – and became generally known in Britain as the second pope in history to visit the UK in 2010. The first such visit had been by Pope John Paul II to England, Wales and Scotland, in 1982.

Read more on the Bishops' Conference website

Photo Gallery: Pope Benedict's Visit to Birmingham in 2010

Click the image below for photos from Day 4 of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK in 2010.

Photo Gallery at Cofton Park by Con McHugh

Papal Visit to Cofton Park - 19 September 2010