“The death of Pope Benedict is a moment of both sadness and gratitude,” said Cardinal Robert McElroy, who was appointed a cardinal last May.
McElroy called Benedict a “theologian of immense depth” as well as a “caring pastor” and a “prayerful servant who unswervingly sought to follow the pathway to which God was calling him.”
“In faith we know that he goes to the loving embrace of the God whom he had served with sacrifice and courage, brilliance and wisdom, humility and kindness for his entire life,” McElroy said.
Read the full statement here.
Cardinal Raymond Burke
“It was my honor to serve him as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura and archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “In my meetings with him, while he was still Roman Pontiff and after his abdication, I was always impressed by his extraordinary intelligence and knowledge, coupled with Christ-like meekness.”
Burke said that Benedict’s teaching regarding the sacred liturgy will remain “a lasting and living heritage.”
“He was an especially gifted teacher of the Catholic faith with a particular appreciation of the highest and most perfect expression of the Faith: Sacred Worship,” Burke said.
Burke called the former pope’s passing “sad,” saying that Benedict had “continued to be a source of many graces for the Church, especially by the offering of his prayers and sufferings for so many needs of the Church in our time.”
Read Burke’s full statement here.
Cardinal Justin Rigali
“I had the privilege of knowing Pope Benedict for many years, going back to his time as a cardinal of the Church — Cardinal Ratzinger,” said Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia.
Rigali recalled his participation in the election of Benedict XVI, saying, “it was a privilege to participate in the election of Pope Benedict. I can remember when I went up to the pope and knelt before him to show my respect and offer to him my pledge to be faithful and obedient, the first thing that Pope Benedict said to me was, ‘Happy Birthday, your eminence.’ It was my 70th birthday. Pope Benedict remembered that, and that is a memory I will always carry with me.”
Read more of Rigali’s statements here.
Cardinal James Stafford
Cardinal James Stafford, who participated in the former pope’s election, called Benedict XVI “a true disciple,” Denver Catholic reported.
“Pope Benedict XVI was dedicated to the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth,” said Stafford, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Stafford shared, “In afternoon walks in the Vatican Gardens I sometimes encountered Pope Benedict. I thought that here was a true disciple ‘who walks with Jesus and is thus caught up with Him into communion with God,’” concluding, “May he rest in peace!”
Read more of Stafford’s statement here.