Leaders around the world are mourning the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at 95 years who was the first pope in modern history to step down from his position.
Benedict made history in 2013 when he became the first pope to resign instead of serving for the rest of his life in almost 600 years.
He said at the time of his decision that because of his advanced age he no longer had the “strength” required for the “adequate exercise of the Petrine Ministry.”
The leaders praised Benedict’s service to the church and efforts to spread its teachings and peace around the globe.
President Muhammadu Buhari on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria commiserated with Pope Francis, the Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world, as well as all Christian faithful, who are mourning the passing away of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in a statement by its President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, described the late Pope Benedict XVI as a great theologian whose life epitomised the balance of faith, reason and work in ways that positively influenced both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world.
Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, called Benedict “a giant of faith and reason” who devoted his life to the service of the church.
The Chancellor of Benedict’s native country, Germany, Olaf Scholz, tweeted that the former pope was a special leader for many, not only in Germany.
He said the world lost a “formidable figure” of the church, a “controversial personality” and a “clever theologian.”
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted that Benedict sent a “strong signal” through his resignation in that he saw himself as a servant of his church.
Irish President, Michael Higgins, said in a statement that Benedict would be remembered for his “untiring efforts” to find a path to promote peace and goodwill throughout the world, including his interest in achieving peace in Northern Ireland.
United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said Benedict’s 2010 visit to the UK was a historic moment for Catholics and non-Catholics in the country, hence that he was saddened to learn of the former pope’s death.