Statement from Bishop Kopacz on the passing
of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

(Jan. 1, 2023) – The Catholic Church throughout the world commends to God Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, one of her outstanding witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ, the Good News first announced by the Angel and the Heavenly Host to the Shepherds caring for their flocks.

From the center of the church in Rome for decades serving in critical ministries, culminating in the papacy, Pope Benedict was able to announce the Good News of the Gospel in many remarkable ways, and ultimately to care for his world-wide flock. The Gospel on the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God in the Christmas season portrays his life in exemplary fashion.

Like Mary he treasured the Lord in his arms and the wisdom of the Catholic Faith of nearly 2000 years. By the light of faith he followed the path of the Shepherds, glorifying and praising God, announcing the Good News and evangelizing all, in the church and in the world. He was a Good Shepherd after the heart of Jesus Christ, a faithful priest, prophet, and king, the marks of own Baptism whose legacy will endure in the church he cherished so dearly.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.