On learning of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on 31 December 2022, the Right Reverend Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds, has issued the following message:
‘It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI.
We recall with great fondness how Benedict won the hearts and minds of so many of the people of our country during his visit to England in September 2010. His ministry and leadership were characterised by a gentleness and serenity that sprang from an intense personal relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Benedict’s teaching as the Successor of St Peter and his theological writings have given the Church a profound legacy that will be appreciated ever more deeply both now and in years to come.
May the humble and selfless soul of Benedict XVI, who ministered as chief Shepherd of God’s Church, be welcomed into heaven by the Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully on earth.’
Bishop Marcus will celebrate the 5.30pm Mass at Leeds Cathedral, this Wednesday 4 January 2023, for the repose of the soul of Benedict XVI, which will also be livestreamed via: www.leedscathedrallive.org
A Requiem Mass which will enable a fuller diocesan participation of clergy and laity will be arranged and published in due course. The Bishop has encouraged every parish priest to make arrangements for a Mass to be celebrated for the late Pope in their parish on a day and at a time which they consider will enable as many from their community to participate as possible.
The website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) carries an Obituary: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pope-benedict-xvi-requiescat-in-pace/ and prayer cards have been distributed to all Catholic parishes.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him; may he rest in peace. Amen.