Tags: joe biden | pope benedict | vatican | religion | catholic | leader | church

Biden Hails Late Pope Benedict XVI's 'Devotion,' 'Inspiration'

By    |   Saturday, 31 December 2022 04:33 PM EST

President Joe Biden praised the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's "lifetime of devotion" in a statement Saturday.

"Jill and I join Catholics around the world, and so many others, in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI," Biden's statement read. "I had the privilege of spending time with Pope Benedict at the Vatican in 2011 and will always remember his generosity and welcome as well as our meaningful conversation.

"He will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith. As he remarked during his 2008 visit to the White House, 'the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity.' May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all."

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 95, died Saturday at the Vatican, the Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni announced.

"With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 a.m. in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican," Bruni's statement said. "Further information will be provided as soon as possible."

Vatican City News reported Benedict, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had been in deteriorating health for some time due to his advanced age, which caused him to resign his papacy in 2013, becoming only the first to leave the office before death since Pope Gregory XXII 1415.

Benedict will lie in state at St. Peter's Basilica on Monday, Jan. 2 and remain until his scheduled funeral in St. Peter's Square Jan. 5, according to the Vatican.

Current Pope Francis will preside over the service, church officials, the news outlet reported.

Biden, himself a Catholic, has come at odds with the teachings of the church by supporting abortion and criticizing the Supreme Court for "going overboard" in reversing 1973's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Time reported in May.

"He's being pushed to adopt and defend and legislate on the position of the party, which historically wasn't his in the mid-70s. He has changed his mind." Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and author of "Joe Biden and Catholicism" told the publication at the time.

Despite holding views contrary to the church's pro-life doctrine, Pope Francis and other high ranking church officials have supported Biden's stance so far.

"For those who have defended him — a few bishops in this country, a few cardinals in Rome, and Pope Francis — it will become more difficult to do it in public," Faggioli told Time.

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President Joe Biden praised the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's "lifetime of devotion" in a statement Saturday.
joe biden, pope benedict, vatican, religion, catholic, leader, church
Saturday, 31 December 2022 04:33 PM
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