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BREAKING: Former pope Benedict XVI dies at 95

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Nearly ten years after becoming the first pope to step down in six centuries, the Vatican announced on Saturday that former pope Benedict XVI had passed away at the age of 95.

Since his shocking resignation in February 2013, the German pope emeritus, whose birth name was Joseph Ratzinger, had been leading a tranquil life at a disused convent on the premises of the Vatican.

His condition had been deteriorating for some time, but the Vatican announced on Wednesday that it had become worse, and his successor, Pope Francis, urged Catholics all around the world to pray for him.

"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," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.


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