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Dear friends of Pope Benedict XVI,

Thank you all very much for your condolences on the passing of Pope Benedict XVI. The messages shared at the Internet portal www.BenedictusXVI.org are profoundly moving. Not only do they express the sentiments of people from many different countries; they testify, at times quite personally, to the faith-building and life-changing effect that the writing and preaching of Benedict XVI had on people. The encounter with Christ changes everything. Pope Benedict XVI was utterly convinced of this truth, and he proclaimed it until he drew his very last breath. It is a great consolation to see the seeds of the Word which he so tirelessly sowed bear fruit.

Joseph Ratzinger was born and baptized on a Holy Saturday. He himself was fond of saying that this meant his life was immersed in the Easter mystery from the very beginning. Now he may gaze upon the Risen Lord, face to face.

“Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him, and all ages; to him be glory and power, through every age and forever. Amen.” These are the words prayed by the Church at the preparation the Paschal candle at the beginning of the Easter Vigil. With these words I greet and bless you all, and wish you and your families an Easter filled with abundant blessings. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Archbishop Georg Gänswein

 Erzbischof Dr. Gänswein, der langjährige Privatsekretär von Papst Benedikt XVI.

We mourn the loss of
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI dressed in white smiling and waving with one hand. The background is entirely black.

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Pope Benedict XVI

Prof. Dr.  Joseph Ratzinger

Has died in Christ to new life


Born 16 April 1927

Ordained a priest  29  June 1951

Ordained a bishop 28 May 1977

Admitted to the College of Cardinals 27 June 1977

Appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 1 March 1982

Elected Pope 19 April 2005

Resigned 28 February 2013


Returned home to the house of the Heavenly Father 31 December 2022


Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)

I have called you by name: you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)


May the angels lead you into paradise;
May the martyrs receive you at your arrival
And lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May choirs of angels receive you
And with Christ, who died for you,
May you have eternal rest.

For here we have no lasting city,
but we seek the one that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14)

Salve, Regina,
mater misericordiae;
Vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus,
gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, Advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos
ad nos converte.
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.

I would like us to join with those here beside us who are paying their respects to Benedict XVI, and to turn my thoughts to him, a great master of catechesis. His acute and gentle thought was not self-referential, but ecclesial, because he always wanted to accompany us in the encounter with Jesus. Jesus, Crucified and Risen, the Living One and the Lord, was the destination to which Pope Benedict led us, taking us by the hand. May he help us rediscover in Christ the joy of believing and the hope of living.

Pope Francis, General Audience, January 4 2023

Portrait of Cardinal Kurt Koch

I am happy to remember Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI as theologian of above-average intelligence and, above all, as a wise pontiff with a modest and humble humanity and a deep faith, and I thank the living God for having given him to us. May Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI live in the eternal peace of God in the communion of the saints that was so important to him, and with them, aid the Church with his intercession, as he did these last few years at Mater Ecclesiae monastery…

The decision to declare a theologian a Doctor of the Church lies ultimately with the Pope; and it is not for me to anticipate whether a future Pope will make such a judgment. But this is something that I, along with many other people, would love and hope to see happen. For Joseph Ratzinger was not only an outstanding theologian and scholar, but someone who constantly placed himself in the service of proclaiming the Catholic faith. And in doing so, he always saw the faith as the ultimate measure and criterion of theology and preaching, and not the other way around. 

Portrait of Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, on 16 March 2019 in Bonn.

His main goal in writing has always been simply to bear witness to what he himself is convinced of. His Jesus books are likewise an enduring testament to his faith, and I truly believe that this testament will help people to place God, Jesus Christ, at the center of their faith.

Your condolences

This is your opportunity to personally offer your condolences, express your gratitude for the life and work of Pope Benedict XVI, and join with the faithful from all over the world in prayer for the deceased pontiff.