The Right Reverend Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough, has issued a message following the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict at the age of 95.
“Over the last few days we have heard the news of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s deteriorating health.
“Even so, it is with sadness that we heard of his death at 9:34 am this morning, 31 December. He has returned home to his Father and we pray that he will rest in peace.
“He will be remembered for many things, not least his abundant writings. They are a legacy and a treasure into which the Church will delve and from which it will profit for ages to come.
“Nor can we ignore his courage and integrity when he resigned from the Petrine Ministry on account of his health and physical vulnerability, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.
“His funeral will take place on 5th January in St Peter’s Basilica. We pray for his eternal repose, the intentions of Pope Francis and for the whole Church.
“Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen”
Bishop of Middlesbrough