Benedict leaves a profound legacy for which we will be eternally grateful, says Bishop of Lancaster

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The Right Reverend Paul Swarbrick, Bishop of Lancaster, has commented on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

“Hearing today of the death of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, I lead the Catholic Faithful of the Diocese of Lancaster in thanking God for his life and ministry.

“Over his 95 years he has given us an outstanding model of dedicated service, during what have been years of considerable challenge. Particularly I thank God for his eight years as our Supreme Pontiff in succession to the late Pope Saint John Paul II.

“As the time of mourning begins, we extend to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, our deep condolences together with the promise of prayers and the offering of Holy Mass for the repose of Benedict’s soul and for the comforting of all who grieve.

“In his final nine years, Pope Emeritus, Benedict, has fulfilled a role of quietly and fraternally accompanying the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his pastoral leadership of the Catholic Church. His example of prayer, humility, concern for the poor and fidelity to the Teachings of the Church leave us with a profound legacy for which we will be eternally grateful.

“As Bishop, I am moved by the numerous messages of sympathy and prayer that have come to me and the Diocese from so many leaders of other Christian and faith traditions. This is obvious testament to the greater good served by Benedict in his concern for the Unity of Christians as well as his openness to dialogue with all people of good will.

“His State visit to Great Britain in 2010 touched the hearts of people of all faiths and none. We have been deeply enriched by his life. May his death bring us a lesson of hope for the years that remain to us.

“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in the peace of Christ.”

+Paul Swarbrick
Bishop of Lancaster