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Apostolic Movement

Words on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

P. Heinrich Walter

With the entire universal Church, the International Schoenstatt Movement mourns the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. We thank the Triune God for having given us in him, in this time of upheaval, a shepherd and teacher who has seen and presented reason and faith together in great wisdom. As an experienced churchman, he sought dialogue with clarity and humility, thus bringing the church into conversation with scientists, those in power and also other religious leaders. Trusting in God’s mercy, he has also publicly faced the painful reality of the Church. As a man of God, he has given a visible witness that everything is about the glory of God and about his kingdom.

With His encyclicals, homilies and addresses, Benedict XVI has drawn attention to the great truths of Christianity, presenting time and again the love of God as the root of the Christian message. We thank him for this guidance to the center of what the Church is and how it should act in the world today.

We also remember the pastoral dimension of his work, such as at World Youth Day in Cologne, when he inspired young people to work for a better world. We are grateful that in 2006 he called together the new spiritual communities and movements for a great Pentecost vigil in St. Peter’s Square. He spoke there about the movements as schools of true freedom.

As a Schoenstatt Family, we have walked the road with him in heartfelt solidarity and faithful love for the Church. Our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, taught us that the Church can only become a family of believers if the Holy Father and the bishops are effective in a paternal role. In the person of the late Pope and his teachings, a paternal voice of certainty has been given to our time.

In our Schoenstatt Shrines, we commend Pope Benedict XVI to the merciful love of God. May his longing for the father’s house, which he has often expressed lately, now be fulfilled

The spiritual legacy that he leaves to the Church and to humanity as a theologian, cardinal and pope will occupy us for a long time. It is clear that he understood his vocation as a service so that all spirits might be ever more united in truth and all hearts in love.

Vallendar-Schoenstatt, 31.12.2022

For the International Coordination of the Schoenstatt Movement

Emmiritierter Papst



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