Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak, whose diocese has been rocked for weeks by reports of a gay orgy in a priest’s apartment.
Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the Vatican on Thursday.
A series of sex abuse scandals clouded his legacy.
In 2013, Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to retire.
The Vatican says the health of 95-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has undergone a “worsening in the last hours” due to his age.
Benedict’s lack of a personal apology or admission of guilt immediately riled sex abuse survivors.
The former pontiff's personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, said Benedict "is very sorry for this mistake and asks to be excused.”
A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese has faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop.
The question of whether to allow priests to be married has dominated debate in the Catholic Church for months.
Retired Pope Benedict XVI's intervention is extraordinary, given he had promised to remain “hidden from the world” when he retired in 2013.