News Release: On the Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Benedictus XVI in 2010
Photo by Mark Bray, CC BY 2.0

December 31, 2022

(Lansing, Mich.) — Upon hearing of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the age of 95, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long offered the following reflections:

“Together with the Catholic bishops and dioceses in Michigan, we offer our prayers for the soul of Benedict XVI and entrust the Pope Emeritus to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

“An erudite theologian and gentle pastor dedicated to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, Benedict XVI was guided by the Holy Spirit from his preference to retire as Librarian of the Holy Roman Church to be elected Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Jesus Christ. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI clarified for the world, particularly in the west, that a ‘dictatorship of relativism’ had ascended, thereby inspiring a generation of Catholics and people of goodwill to work and pray for a return to the truths of God the Creator.

“Having shepherded the universal Church as Roman pontiff for some eight years prior to his retirement in February 2013, Pope Benedict composed for the Catholic faithful and the broader world a memorable trilogy of encyclical letters that advanced the Christian virtues of love and hope; the Pope Emeritus reminded all that God is Love. We recall with fondness Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington, D.C. and New York City in April 2008, particularly his speech on the South Lawn of the White House and the Masses which he celebrated at Nationals Park and Yankee Stadium, leaving behind a message of truth, freedom and justice.

“We join Pope Francis in prayer for Benedict XVI, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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