Charles iii of the united kingdom, prime minister rishi sunak, italy’s prime minister giorgia meloni, ireland’s prime minister leo varadkar, german chancellor olaf scholz, and cardinal vincent nichols of the catholic church in england and wales were all involved in expressing their condolences and paying tribute to the late pope benedict xvi upon hearing of his death. the leaders praised the pope for his efforts to promote peace and goodwill and for strengthening the bonds between catholics and anglicans.
pope benedict xi was appointed archbishop of munich in 1977 and his death has left the catholic world mourning the loss of an unrivalled repository of theological knowledge, intellectualism and lived experience. pope francis is expected to honor pope benedict xi in his homily at the funeral on thursday.
the leaders of countries with large catholic populations paid tribute to the pope for his actions and legacy. prime minister sunak called the former pope “a great theologian whose uk visit in 2010 was an historic moment”, italy’s prime minister meloni referred to benedict as a “giant of faith and reason” and “a great man whom history will not forget”, and ireland’s prime minister varadkar described him as a “humble worker in the vineyard of the lord”. german chancellor scholz described the late pope as “a formative figure of the catholic church, a forthright personality and a clever theologian”. despite their differences, pope benedict xi and pope francis reportedly had immense respect for one another.
king charles iii praised the pope for his “constant efforts to promote peace and goodwill to all people” and his actions to strengthen the bonds between catholics and anglicans. cardinal vincent nichols of the catholic church in england and wales said that the benedict transformed his image in the uk during his visit, as he arrived with a reputation of being “god’s rottweiler” but left being compared to “everybody’s favourite great-uncle”. one resident described him as “conservative” while also taking pride from the fact that he was german.