The Right Reverend John Arnold, Bishop of Salford has shared a message of sorrow following the news of Pope Benedict’s death, and invites us to reflect on the enormity of his role as leader and guide of the Catholic Church:
“There is much for which we need to give thanks for the leadership and gentle shepherding of the Church achieved by Pope Benedict in his eight years as our Pope and spiritual father.
“In a time of many political challenges and social change, Pope Benedict remained constant in his promotion of Gospel values, building up the family of the Church in all its diversity throughout the world.
“His was the constant invitation and encouragement to us to be true to the model and example of Christ. His life was dedicated to encouraging us with his scholarship, holiness, and prayer.
“Christians believe that life is a journey, where each one of us is learning about the person and ministry of Jesus: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
“All followers of Christ learn to be his ambassadors in the way we live our daily lives and Bishop John reminds us that in a global Church of an estimated 1.3 billion Catholics, that journey will have many different paths and turns for people living in such different contexts around the world.
“Through all of this, Pope Benedict led the global Church in its journey for eight years, helping and encouraging all its members to remain focussed on Christ, whoever and wherever we may be.”
Bishop of Salford