The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
With deep sorrow, we, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and faithful of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama join the faithful and people of good will throughout the world in mourning the loss of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
On this day, December 31, 2022, at 9:34 A.M. Rome time, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the house of the Father at the age of 95. From the day of his election as pope, at which time I happened to be present, in St. Peter’s Square, he presented himself as a “simple and humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.” After the long pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II, that marked the next step in bringing the Church into the twenty-first century, Pope Benedict carried the torch into the 21st century helping us understand what it meant to be a Christian.
From his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, issued on December 25 (Christmas), 2005, the first year of his pontificate, he noted in the opening lines: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” He highlighted the fact that although he was a teacher par excellence, being a Christian has more to do with an encounter with an event, a person. That is the decisive moment that changes everything, bringing meaning and purpose to everything we do and the promise of an eternal destiny.
At this end of the year 2022, we give thanks to God for Pope Emeritus Benedict’s life, his ministry, his teaching, and luminous witness to Christ. Here was someone who witnessed the joy of the Gospel because he encountered Jesus Christ, His Lord and Savior and for which he became a “simple and humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.” May he rest in peace!
I also invite all priests / deacons / consecrated religious and lay faithful to participate in one or more of the scheduled events, found on various social media platforms, commemorating and praying for the repose of the soul of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
From Bishop Steven J. Raica
Diocese of Birmingham
A prayer for the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
O God, faithful rewarder of souls, grant that your departed servant Pope Benedict XVI, whom you made successor of Peter and shepherd of your Church, may happily enjoy for ever in your presence in heaven the mysteries of your grace and compassion, which he faithfully ministered on earth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.
Last night, Bishop Raica celebrated a Requiem Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Holy Spirit Parish. Bishop Raica prayed for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who preached that God is love and that we are saved in hope, that he may know God’s love forever in Heaven. He spoke of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a witness with a gentle soul and an intellectual giant, walking in a fisherman’s shoes as the successor of Pete, who inspires us by his simple request to stand firm in the Lord and respond “Yes, Lord, I love you.”