“Today, with over 2 million brother Knights of Columbus around the world, I join Pope Francis and the whole Church in mourning the loss of a great and holy priest and teacher — our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI.
“One cannot consider the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI without immediately thinking of his magisterium and theological insights, which Pope Francis recently affirmed ‘are not directed towards the past, but are fruitful for the future.’
“Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals, books, homilies and other writings form a theological treasury and profound testimony to Jesus Christ and His Church, which he served with such humility and fidelity.
“The late Pope, who attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a priest, theological expert and advisor, went on to serve for nearly a quarter century as Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II, before himself leading the Church as the Vicar of Christ.
“In both roles, the Knights of Columbus were grateful beneficiaries of the wisdom and teaching of the late pontiff, including by his interventions at several symposia and gatherings sponsored by the Knights through the years. His first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, remains a guiding light for the world — and for the Knights of Columbus specifically, since one of our founding principles is charity, and our global charitable work is at the heart of our activity as Knights.
“In 2008, during his pastoral visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI recognized ‘the remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.’ The decree of heroic virtue, which Pope Benedict approved in March of that year, opened the way for our Founder’s eventual beatification in 2020.
“As we continue to be confirmed and strengthened by Pope Benedict’s teachings about the eternal truths of our faith, Knights of Columbus throughout the world join in prayer for the repose of his soul.”
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