31st December 2022
Statement from Bishop Adrian Wilkinson on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
‘On behalf of the Church of Ireland community in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, I share the statements issued by the Church of Ireland’s archbishops on the announcement of the death of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I also extend my sympathy, and that of the diocese, to Bishops Cullinan, Nulty and Nash, Bishop-elect Coll, the clergy, religious and Roman Catholic lay people in this part of our country.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.’
+Adrian Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.
Archbishops John McDowell and Michael Jackson:
Statements on the Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
From Archbishop John McDowell:
‘I wish to extend my sympathy on behalf of the Church of Ireland to Archbishop Eamon Martin, and to the bishops, priests, deacons and Roman Catholic people of Ireland on the death of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
‘During his visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, Pope Benedict used the occasion of his meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to focus on the subject of ecumenism in the context of both greater secularism in wider society and the increasingly multi-faith pattern of belief. For those of us who were present on that occasion in Westminster Abbey, we were fortunate indeed to listen to two European intellectuals and people of deep faith in conversation about the future of European Christianity. It was an unforgettable and encouraging experience.
‘On that occasion, His Holiness Pope Benedict also reflected on the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission saying: “Let us entrust the fruits of that work to the Lord of the harvest, confident that he will bless our friendship with further significant growth.”
‘We owe a common debt to him, not least as a Biblical scholar and the unique richness of his exploration of the person of Jesus.
‘In the encyclicals Deus caritas est (God is Love), Spe salvi (In Hope We Were Saved) and Caritas in veritate (Charity in Truth), Pope Benedict examined the themes of God’s love, hope and redemption, and the need for an ethical perspective to achieve the common good in global development. As we look around today’s world, these reflections are perhaps more pertinent than ever, filled with a sense of prescience and still calling for response.
‘Pope Benedict was manifestly a man of deep spiritual insight combined with a capacity for focused and articulate theological expression. During his life, he combined the role of churchman and theologian with energy, leaving as a legacy a substantive body of published work that stands testament to a Christian scholar of great intelligence and learning.
‘His loss will be felt very keenly throughout the Catholic world and my prayers in the coming weeks will be for all who are bereaved and diminished by the passing of a great man and a humble disciple of our common Lord, especially my brothers and sisters in Christ on the island of Ireland.
‘Ar dheis Dé go raibh an anam.’
From Archbishop Michael Jackson:
‘Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI contributed to the life and understanding of the Christian Church in a very wide range of ways. Different people will remember this extraordinary personal contribution from many different perspectives and in many different contexts.
‘His gift of scholarship was one which he shared throughout his pontificate and after his retirement. Clarity of writing was a special charism and he opened up for a new generation the person of Jesus Christ.
‘Throughout his ministry he saw himself as a child of God and as a servant of the Church. Such service he offered generously to all who follow Jesus Christ in their own tradition and ecumenically. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.’