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LA Cathedral to hold special Mass as former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI laid to rest

The life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be the focus of a special memorial Mass on Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, in conjunction with the late pope’s funeral on Rome the same day.

Benedict — born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, and the first to resign the post in 600 years — died on Dec. 31, prompting a global outpouring of reaction.

By the end of Tuesday, some 65,000 persons had passed by his body, which lay in state St. Peter’s Basilica.

Archbishop José H. Gomez will officiate the Los Angeles Mass on Thursday, which will commemorate the life and ministry of the late pope. Pope Francis will lead his predecessor’s funeral in Rome.

Benedict, who was elected pope in 2005 and resigned in 2013 due to health problems, died after a period of ill health, the Vatican announced Saturday.

In keeping with his wishes, Benedict’s tomb will be in the crypt of the grotto under the basilica that was last used by St. John Paul II, before the saint’s body was moved upstairs into the main basilica ahead of his 2011 beatification, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles and Gomez’s predecessor. As a member of the College of Cardinals, Mahony will travel to St. Peter’s Square to attend Benedict’s funeral.

“It is with sadness tinged with gratitude that we lift up prayers for the eternal rest of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” Mahony said in a reflection on the late pope’s passing. “He was a grand gift from God to the Church, and his many years as a priest, a theologian, an Archbishop, and a Pope, created a tapestry of holiness, wisdom, compassion, and integrity.”

The L.A. Mass will be live-streamed on facebook.com/olacathedral and youtube.com/olacathedral,  The cathedral is at 555 W. Temple St.

Related links

LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahony releases reflection upon passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict
Benedict XVI, first pope to resign in 600 years, dies at 95
Reaction: Pope Francis grateful for ‘noble’ Benedict and his prayers
Southern California clerics pay tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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