The Funeral for the Pope Emeritus

The funeral of Benedict XVI was taking place in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday after three days during which mourners could view his body and pay their final respects to the pope emeritus, who died on Saturday at age 95.

Benedict had lived inside the Vatican, mostly hidden from the public eye, since he resigned in 2013, becoming the first pontiff to leave office for six centuries. The eight-year papacy of Benedict, a widely respected theologian whose papal name stems from one of the patron saints of Europe, was embattled by scandals that ultimately led him to step down.

His funeral, the first in modern history presided over by a reigning pope, had the solemnity of the papal tradition, but lacked some prayers specific to reigning pontiffs, as well as some readings, and had a looser protocol. Only two official delegations attended, those of Italy and of Benedict’s native Germany. Other heads of states and monarchs attended.

Here are scenes from the funerals and the three days when the faithful could view his body in St. Peter’s.


Mourners arriving early at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, before Benedict’s funeral.

Credit…Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times

Morning in St. Peter’s Square.

Credit…Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Gathering in St. Peter’s Square to say a last goodbye.

Credit…Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times


The body of Benedict XVI lying in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

Bishops and cardinals prayed in the basilica near Benedict’s body.

Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

Lining up to pay homage to the pope emeritus.

Credit…Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times

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