In a written statement on the morning of Dec. 31, Bruni said: “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.”
Bruni later told journalists that Benedict XVI received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick on Dec. 28, in the presence of the consecrated women who helped run his household.
Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI in the late morning on Dec. 28, after his weekly public audience, in which he asked for prayers for the “very ill” pope emeritus.
A German foundation has put together a website, benedictusxvi.org, where people can leave their condolences for Benedict XVI.
Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, he was elected to the papacy in April 2005, taking the name Benedict XVI, after decades of service to the Catholic Church as a theologian, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, cardinal, and one of the closest collaborators of St. John Paul II, whom he succeeded as pope.
On Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old Benedict shocked the world with a Latin-language announcement of his retirement, becoming the first pope in almost 600 years to do so. He cited his advanced age and his lack of strength as unsuitable to the exercise of his office.