Pope Benedict XVI during one of his several journeys abroad Pope Benedict XVI during one of his several journeys abroad 

World leaders mourning death of Benedict XVI

Political leaders across the world send their condolences for the passing of the Pope Emeritus, praising his devotion to the Church and commitment for world peace.

By Vatican News staff reporter

From the United States, to Germany, to Japan, world heads of state and government are grieving the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

German President and PM

Germany’s President,  Frank-Walter Steinmeier , in a message praised the the German-born Pontiff’s  dedication to dialogue between Christian denominations and other religions.

For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz remembered him as a “formative figure of the Catholic Church”.

US President Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden said the late Pope “will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith”. In a statement released on Saturday, Biden recalled Benedict’s “generosity and welcome” and “meaningful conversation” when he met him in the Vatican in 2011 .  “May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all”, the statement concluded.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute to Benedict XVI describing him as “a humble man of prayer and study”, and remarking that he  was “principled in his faith, tireless in his pursuit of peace, and determined in his defence of human rights”.

Italian President and PM

Italian President Sergio Mattarella said the death of the Pope Emeritus is a cause for grief for the entire country. He said that “his sweetness and his wisdom had benefitted our community and the entire international community. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called Pope Benedict XVI a “giant of faith and reason” that history will never forget.

The Dalai Lama

In Asia , Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined in expressing his condolences to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church,  highlighting Benedict’s great contributions towards world peace. He also said Japan was greatly moved by a message Benedict sent after the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, spiritually uplifting the people of Japan.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama too has shared his condolences. In a message sent to the Apostolic Nunciature in New Delhi, India, the Buddhist religious leader expressed sadness on learning of his passing away. “At a time when we are seeing tension in several parts of the world, we can take a lesson from the life of Pope Benedict and do what we can to contribute to religious harmony and global peace.,  he said.

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02 January 2023, 16:13