Only two official state delegations, from Italy and Germany, will attend the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Vatican press office has confirmed.

the punch had reported that Pope Benedict XVI remained ill for nearly a decade before his eventual death on Saturday, December 31, 2022.

He led the Catholic Church for less than eight years until, in 2013, he became the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.

Benedict spent his last years in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery within the Vatican walls, where he passed away.

German-born Benedict, a former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, lived in Italy for more than 40 years, beginning in 1981.

The Holy See Press Office confirmed on December 31 that the two countries would send official representatives to the funeral, which will take place on Thursday.

Both Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Geogia Meloni paid their respects to the late pontiff on Monday morning at St. Peter’s Basilica, where his body will rest until Jan. 4.

While there, Meloni offered her condolences to Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein.

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