Obi, others pay tribute to Benedict XVI

Tributes have continued to pour in for the late Pope Benedict XVI who passed away today, December 31. He died at the monastery at the Vatican at the age of 95.

In his condolence message, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi said that the late former pontiff left indelible historical marks.

Obi, who is a Catholic, wrote on Twitter, “Farewell Pope Emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI. Over the years, Pope Benedict remained a real shepherd of God’s people. He left indelible historical marks. His service to God and to humanity as a priest, archbishop, cardinal, and pope bore eloquent witness to his genuine love for God and man. Rest on Pope Benedict XVI.” 

A tweep, @Dr_chazduke commented, “RIP Holy Father. The Catholic Church and the field of theology will miss you, the great Joseph Ratzinger.”

Similarly, @jollynony said, “Life on earth lasts for a little while. Our works are what could last as long as the earth itself. Your life has had impact. Thank you for your stewardship of the church. Go with God Blessed Pope Benedict.”

Earlier in the day, some world leaders paid tribute to the deceased. In his condolence message, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni said, “A Christian, a pastor, a theologian: (he was) a great man who history will not forget."

On his part, French President, Emmanuel Macron, said that Benedict "worked with all his soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world."

Similarly, the state premier of Bavaria, Germany, where the deceased hailed from, Markus Soeder described Benedict as "one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century".

Benedict succeeded Pope John Paul II in April 19, 2005 after the latter held the position for 27 years. Benedict was succeeded by Pope Francis. 

During the week, Francis had announced that Benedict was very ill and he sought prayers for him. Francis said in Italian, “I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church.

“Let us remember him. He is very sick, asking the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the church, until the end.”

Benedict will be buried on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

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