‘A noble person, so kind,’ Pope Francis pays tribute to Benedict XVI
MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis on Sunday paid tribute to former Pope Benedict XVI, who died in the Vatican at the age of 95, saying the latter is remembered as a “noble person, so kind.”
Hours after the Vatican’s announcement of the death of Benedict, Pope Francis honored his predecessor for his contributions to the Church and to the world.
“At this moment, my thought goes spontaneously to dear Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who left us this morning. We are moved as we recall him as such a noble person, so kind,” the Pope said in a tweet.
He then added: “And we feel such gratitude in our hearts: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him for all the good he accomplished, and above all, for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his recollected life.”
Pope Francis also noted that “only God knows the value and the power of his (Benedict) intercession, of the sacrifices he offered for the good of the Church.”
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) December 31, 2022
It was the Pope who disclosed on Wednesday that Benedict was “very sick” as he sought prayers for his predecessor.
In 2013, Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years.
His eight-year papacy was shaken by child abuse scandals by clergy. Benedict had since repeatedly apologized for the Church’s failure to root out this problem.
A year before Benedict announced his resignation, the “Vatileaks” scandal – where private papal documents leaked, exposing feuds and corruption in the Church’s central administration – surfaced.