Former Pope Benedict XVI Passes Away at 95, Known for Negative Legacy on LGBTQ+ Rights
Pope Benedict XVI, a former pope known for his conservative views and negative legacy on LGBTQ+ rights, passed away at the age of 95 in a monastery in Vatican City on Saturday. Vatican officials have stated that he had been in poor health in recent days.
Prior to his papacy, Benedict was a powerful leader in the Catholic Church and held the position of Chief Theological Adviser to Pope John Paul II. He was elected pope in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II, and was the first pope to retire in approximately 600 years when he stepped down in 2013. His retirement allowed for the rise of Pope Francis, who has been more welcoming towards LGBTQ+ people and has advocated for their inclusion in the Church.
Prior to becoming pope, Benedict had a history of being opposed to the liberalization of the Church, earning him the nickname “Cardinal No.” He was particularly vocal in his anti-LGBTQ+ views, and used his influence to silence a LGBTQ+ supportive nun and priest over their refusal to support the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.
He also published a document in 1986 titled “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,” which referred to homosexuality as an “intrinsic moral evil.”
Benedict’s funeral will be held in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday, and his body will lie in state at St. Peter’s Basilica beginning Monday.