Death of Pope Benedict: Inside the ‘internal crisis that broke the back of the ex-pontiff’ | World | News

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Former Pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95

Thousands of mourners have continued to queue patiently to pay their respects to the body of Pope Benedict, the man who was elected the 265th pontiff in 2005. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 , and the German-born figure rose through the ranks of the papacy before his dramatic decision to step down as head of the Vatican in 2013, the first living pope to do so the 600 years. But his legacy was regularly questioned during his lifetime, including by the cardinals he helped to elect.

While his legacy has been overshadowed in the days since his death, with political figures such as Hungarian leader Viktor Orban and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attending his body in St Peter’s Basilica , the former speaker’s stance was questioned.

Continual claims of conflict between Francis’ more progressive approach to Catholic teaching and the traditional beliefs of Benedict, who continued to stalk the aisles of the church after his resignation, dominated debate. of the Vatican, with some critics saying that it hindered his predecessor’s claim. Catholicism is more attractive to all.

But Benedict’s own time was plagued by allegations of corruption and crime, leaving no doubt about the legacy he wanted to uphold during his eight-year tenure.

And while Benedict still enjoys massive support from the Catholic church’s one billion followers, a documentary claimed his “dysfunctional” rule ended after a series of “internal crises” to enter the Vatican, paving the way for Francis to rise to power.

Pope Benedict died on New Year's Eve

Death of Pope Benedict: Inside the ‘internal crisis that broke the back of the ex-pontiff’ and decline (Image: GETTY)

Pope Benedict's mourners gather in the Vatican

Pope Benedict: Mourners gather in the Vatican (Image: GETTY)

In the 2014 Amazon Prime documentary, The Francis Effect, several “leaks, scandals, and reference scenes” claimed to have turned some followers against the faith, leaving the Vatican’s accusations related to views and Benedict’s creeds.

In the end, he would resign, with Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, convinced that the next pontiff would bring about “big changes” in the church itself.

He said: “It was an unusual conclave because there was no funeral so we were not mourning the Pope. Because of that I think there was so much discussion and talk about who the next pope was going to be and what his qualities were. we were searching.”

It was the first time since the 1400s that a living Pope had resigned, prompting a week-long debate in the College of Cardinals over who should succeed him.

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Vatican City mourners gather

Worshipers gather in the Vatican to celebrate Benedict’s death (Image: GETTY)

Sebastian Gomes, the reporter of the documentary, said that there were “open discussions about what many saw as dysfunctional bureaucracy” regarding Benedict among shocked bishops who were looking for a replacement.

He continued: “Leaks, scandal and a reference point, among its most powerful administrators had marred the Vatican for years. Many argued that it was this internal crisis that ultimately broke Benedict’s back.”

Some of the controversies Benedict faced included his views on homosexuality within religion and the scandal surrounding child sexual abuse allegations involving the Catholic church.

Historian and author Lynda Telford, who wrote Women in the Vatican – A Woman in a Man’s World, told Express.co.uk two years ago that the church had a difficult future under Benedict, and even after her retirement her influence was still evident.

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The body of Pope Benedict is currently lying in state

The body of Pope Benedict is currently lying in state (Image: GETTY)

She described him as “an opponent of any change … a backward-looking traditionalist” and reluctant to change despite followers “leaving the church every day”.

David Gibson, from the Faith News Service, echoed Ms Telford in pointing out the change in leadership when Francis was elected nearly a decade ago.

He explained that directors “couldn’t have predicted the immediate positive response” Francis’ role would garner, but added: “I sometimes wonder if there’s any buyer’s remorse in the months since ‘past and in the past year, among the cardinals. Did they really know what they were getting into?”

Other question marks surrounding Benedict included his supposed links to Nazi Germany, and his time spent in the Hitler Youth in 1941.

His father was very much against the hated Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler, but legislation at the time insisted that the age of 14 had to join the youth wing of the army. Benedict accepted this, although his brother would later claim that he was “a layman who refused to attend meetings”.

An outpouring of emotion greeted the news of Benedict’s passing, and since his body was laid to rest earlier this week, an estimated 65,000 people have passed him.

The 95-year-old’s fears had increased, and two days before he died on New Year’s Eve, Francis had made an emotional statement, asking the faithful to pray for him because Benedict “very ill”.

Francis will preside over Benedict’s funeral in St Peter’s Square on Thursday, with tens of thousands expected to take to the streets to mark the historic moment.

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