Statement by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge regarding the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

I respectfully ask all in the Diocese of Arlington to unite in prayer as we mourn the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. May we give thanks to God for his example and witness and pray for his eternal peace and happiness.

Born Joseph Ratzinger, he served the Church faithfully and generously for more than 70 years as a priest, bishop, cardinal and pope. He was an influential figure at the Second Vatican Council and served as one of Pope Saint John Paul II's closest collaborators before being elected pope himself in 2005. A devoted student of the Word of God and steeped in the Church's liturgical and theological tradition, he was able to engage the modern world with intellectual clarity and pastoral charity. The breadth and depth of his teachings have inspired many and are already considered part of the Church's patrimony. May the Lord grant to this good shepherd eternal rest and abundant reward for his labors.