Political reactions pour in after the death of Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose resignation in 2013 took the whole world by surprise, died on Saturday at the age of 95 in the monastery in the Vatican gardens where he had retired. “I have the pain to announce to you that the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, died today at 9:34 a.m., at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, in the Vatican”, announced in a press release the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni. His body will be on display from Monday morning in the solemn setting of Saint Peter’s Basilica to allow the faithful to greet him.

Since the announcement of the death of Benedict XVI, there have been many reactions. The world is losing a “significant figure” of the Catholic Church, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “As a ‘German’ pope, Benedict XVI was for many, and not just in this country, a special church leader,” said Olaf Scholz, also calling him a “combative personality” and a “theologian clever “. French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Benedict XVI by saluting the efforts of the former pope, who died on Saturday, in favor of a “more fraternal world”. “My thoughts go out to Catholics in France and around the world, bereaved by the departure of His Holiness Benedict XVI, who worked with soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world”, tweeted the Head of State.

“A giant of Faith and Reason”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “saddened” by the death of the “great theologian” Benedict XVI. “I am saddened to learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He was a great theologian whose visit to the UK in 2010 was a historic moment for Catholics and non-Catholics in our country,” he tweeted. Former Pope Benedict XVI was “a giant of Faith and Reason, as well as a great historical figure that history will not forget”, reacted Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. “I expressed to the Holy Father Francis my participation and that of the government in his pain and that of the entire ecclesial community,” she added in a press release.

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“Benedict XVI was an eminent religious and state figure, a convinced defender of traditional Christian values,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message of condolence to Pope Francis, broadcast by the Kremlin. For Polish President Andrzej Duda, former Pope Benedict XVI was “a close collaborator of Saint John Paul II”. The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres for his part praised in a press release the “tenacious commitment to non-violence and peace” of Benedict XVI. “His powerful calls for solidarity with marginalized people everywhere and his exhortations to narrow the growing gap between rich and poor are more relevant than ever,” the UN chief stressed.

The homage of the churches

“Pope Benedict XVI was one of the greatest theologians of his time, attached to the faith of the Church and faithful to its defense. In all things, and especially in his writings and his preaching, he looked to Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God. Christ was clearly the root of his thought and the foundation of his prayer,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, said in a statement, while welcoming the “courageous and humble” resignation of Benedict XVI. who “recognized the human frailty that affects us all. Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill hailed the memory of former Pope Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday, celebrating an “eminent theologian” and defender of “traditional values”, a concept dear to President Vladimir Putin.

The Conference of Bishops of France salutes the memory of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose death it learned “with great sadness” on Saturday morning, recalling that he was “a great theologian” and a pope who “wanted to serve unity from the church “. In a press release, the CEF calls on Catholics to pray for him. “Masses and celebrations will be organized in dioceses and parishes to give thanks for what he brought to the Church and to the world, and to intercede for him as he wished,” she adds.

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