Quotes: Global reactions to the death of former Pope Benedict

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Following are reactions to the death of former Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign from the post rather than rule for life.

US President Joe Biden:

“He will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith ... May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Twitter:

“As a “German” #Pope, #BenedictXVI was a special church leader for many, not only in this country. The world is losing a formative figure of the Catholic Church, a forthright personality and a clever theologian. My thoughts are with Pope Francis.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni:

“Benedict XVI was a giant of faith and reason. A man in love with the Lord who put his life at the service of the Universal Church and has spoken, and will continue to speak, to the hearts and minds of people with the spiritual, cultural and intellectual depth of his Magisterium. A Christian, a pastor, a theologian: a great man whom history will not forget.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres:

“Principled in his faith, tireless in his pursuit of peace, and determined in his defense of human rights, he was a spiritual guide to millions across the world and one of the leading academic theologians of our time...His powerful calls for solidarity with marginalized people everywhere and his urgent appeals to close the widening gap between rich and poor are more relevant than ever.”

French President Emmanuel Macron:

“My thoughts go out to Catholics in France and around the world, bereaved by the departure of His Holiness Benedict XVI, who worked with all his soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda:

“Pope Benedict XVI has gone to our Father’s House. Today the world has lost one of the greatest theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries, a close collaborator of St. John Paul II. His life, works and pastoral ministry are a signpost among many winding and deceptive roads of modern times. RIP”

Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro:

“Although his pontificate was short, he leaves an immense legacy for the Catholic Church, for all Christians and for humanity ... In defense of the truth of the Gospel, he fearlessly criticized the errors of the so-called ‘liberation theology,’ which intends to mix up Christianity with erroneous concepts of Marxism.”

Leo Varadkar, Irish Prime Minister:

“Leading the Catholic Church for almost a decade, the son of a police officer & a cook, the first German elected as Pope in one thousand years, he was ultimately a ‘humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord’.”

Britain’s King Charles:

“I .. recall his constant efforts to promote peace and goodwill to all people, and to strengthen the relationship between the global Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

“I express my sincere condolences to Pope Francis @Pontifex, the hierarchy and the faithful of the Catholic Church all over the world on the death of Pope Benedict XVI – an outstanding theologian, intellectual and promoter of universal values.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“He was a great spiritual leader and committed with all his heart to the historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish world, a tradition he upheld during his historic visit to Israel in 2009.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

“In a letter of condolence, the President commended the former Pope for his solidarity and support for the freedom and independence of the Palestinian people,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

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Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95

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