Benedict XVI will be buried in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica
Sylvie Claire / January 1, 2023
Former Pope Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday at the age of 95, will be buried on January 5 in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Vatican announced.
The coffin of the pontiff emeritus will be carried to St. Peter's Basilica and then to the Vatican grottoes (which house the papal tombs) for burial," said the press service of the Holy See in a statement. The coffin of the German theologian - born Joseph Ratzinger - will be on display from Monday to Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica to allow the faithful to gather. His funeral will be presided over Thursday by Pope Francis.
This is the first time in modern history that a pope has presided over the funeral of his predecessor. The official biographer of Benedict XVI had revealed in 2020 that he wished to be buried in the tomb of John Paul II, of whom he was a close collaborator, in the crypt of St. Peter's. This tomb is empty since the transfer of the coffin of John Paul II in a side chapel on the occasion of his beatification in 2011. The Vatican did not specify whether this would indeed be the case.