The Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Office of Communications issues the following statement from Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, in response to the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
A highly regarded theologian and scholar, Pope Benedict XVI brought Catholics to a deeper understanding of our faith through his extensive writings and focus on keeping Christ at the center our Christian life. His study of theology and philosophy and deep intellect enabled him to speak with a pastor’s heart while drawing from a variety of sources that appealed to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
His life and ministry will be forever intertwined with many significant moments in the Church’s history – from his notable contribution at the Second Vatican Council, to his work as president of the Preparatory Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to his decision to resign from the papacy.
Through Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer and witness, the Church has been granted great treasures.
May Pope Benedict XVI now rest in eternal peace. Please join me in praying for the repose of his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.
Here are additional highlights of Pope Benedict XVI’s life and ministry:
Key events in Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate (Vatican News)
Pope Benedict’s role in the development of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican News)
Events honoring Pope Benedict XVI:
- As of Monday morning, Jan. 2, 2023, the body of Pope emeritus XVI will lie in state in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.
- Bishop Walkowiak is encouraging all members of the faithful to recite a rosary for the repose of Pope Benedict XVI’s soul. Additionally, Catholic school students and staff are encouraged to say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be daily through January 5.
- Bishop Walkowiak will celebrate the 12:05 p.m. Mass on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew with a special intention for Pope Benedict XVI.
- Pope Francis will proceed over Thursday’s funeral Mass for Pope Benedict XVI. The funeral begins at 9:30 a.m. Rome time (3:30 a.m. ET). EWTN will broadcast the funeral live beginning at 3 a.m. Replays of the funeral will air at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET. (Channel finder). The full funeral can be viewed on EWTN’s YouTube channel (start at 53:45). For additional details, please click here.