Pope Benedict XVI dies – level 3
Former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at the age of 95. He was the oldest pope elected in 275 years and the first German Pope in nearly 1,000 years.
Benedict spent nearly eight years in the job, and he tried to reawaken Christianity in a secularized Europe. He retired on February 28, 2013, and his decision made him the first pope in 600 years to resign.
In 2010, the global eruption of the church sex abuse scandal irreversibly affected Benedict’s legacy. However, as Pope, he did more than any of his predecessors and he changed the Vatican’s views on clergy of sexual abuse. He met the victims of priestly abuse privately and offered his personal apologies. After retirement, he only occasionally emerged from his converted monastery for special events.
On Thursday, Pope Francis will lead Pope Benedict’s funeral in St. Peter’s Square, an unprecedented event in which a current pope will celebrate the funeral of a former one.
Difficult words: secularized (separated from religious connection or influences), legacy (the long-lasting impact of a person’s life or events), clergy (religious leaders).
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