I am very sad to hear the news of the death of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. May he rest in peace and rise to eternal life.

The Holy See press office has confirmed that Pope Emeritus Benedict’s funeral will take place at 9:30am (8:30am UK time) on Thursday, 5 January 2023, in St Peter’s Square presided over by Pope Francis. As of Monday morning, 2 January, his body will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so that the faithful can pay their respects.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said:

“I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to the UK in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met. He was through and through a gentleman, through and through a scholar, through and through a pastor, through and through a man of God – close to the Lord and always his humble servant”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be remembered as one of the great theologians of the 20th century. In a letter published on 8th Feb, Pope Emeritus wrote about his death;

“Quite soon, I shall find myself before the final judge of my life. Even though, as I look back on my long life, I can have great reason for fear and trembling, I am nonetheless of good cheer, for I trust firmly that the Lord is not only the just judge, but also the friend and brother who himself has already suffered for my shortcomings, and is thus also my advocate, my “Paraclete.” In light of the hour of judgement, the grace of being a Christian becomes all the more clear to me. It grants me knowledge, and indeed friendship, with the judge of my life, and thus allows me to pass confidently through the dark door of death.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict is very much in my heart and in my prayers. I give thanks to God for his ministry and leadership. Prayer cards will be distributed to our parishes in the new year.

In ‘The Joy of Knowing Christ – Meditations on the Gospels’, Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote,

“Dear brothers and sisters, prayer is not an accessory or “optional,” but a question of life or death. In fact, only those who pray—in other words, who entrust themselves to God with filial love—can enter eternal life, which is God himself…”

May we follow his advice, and keep each other, and Pope Emeritus Benedict in our prayers as we continue on our pilgrimage.

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you,
go forth, faithful Christian.
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints.

May God bless you, and I hope you have a very Happy New Year.

Canon Paul Cummins

For further information: please contact the Catholic Bishop Source: cbcew.org.uk/pope-francis-to-preside-at-funeral-of-pope-emeritus-benedict-xvi-on-thursday-5-january-2023/
For further information email: communications@cbcew.org.uk
credit Mazur/www.cbcew.org.uk