Biden pays tribute to ‘renowned theologian’ Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI attends a gathering with youths in St. Peter’s square, at the Vatican, on Thursday, March 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

President Biden paid tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a “renowned theologian” following his death at the age of 95 on Saturday. 

Biden said in a statement that he spent time with Benedict in Vatican City in 2011 and will always remember his generosity and their “meaningful” conversation. 

“He will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith,” Biden said. “As he remarked during his 2008 visit to the White House, ‘the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity.’” 

He said Benedict’s focus on charity should continue to be an inspiration to everyone. 

Biden joined numerous world leaders, including Irish President Michael Higgins and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in mourning Benedict’s death and praising his service to the Catholic Church. 

Benedict, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, became pope in 2005 following the death of former Pope John Paul II. 

Benedict made history when he became the first pope in nearly 600 years to step down from his role in 2013, citing a lack of the strength needed to adequately serve due to his advanced age. 

Biden is the second Catholic U.S. president, following former President John F. Kennedy.

The State Department said in a statement that the U.S. mourns death of Benedict, who was “a holy man, witness to faith, and once Shepherd of the Catholic faithful.”

The department said Benedict was an advocate for vulnerable people, including refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, and supported international legal measures to defend them. It also said he was committed to interfaith dialogue.

We offer our deepest condolences to the Catholic faithful around the world, the Holy See, and all those whose lives were enriched by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s spiritual guidance,” the department said.

Tags Biden Catholic Church Joe Biden Pope Benedict Pope Benedict XVI

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