Church of England, global leaders react to the death of former Pope Benedict

Following are reactions to the death of former Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign from the post rather than rule for life:

MARKUS SOEDER, STATE PREMIER OF THE GERMAN STATE OF BAVARIA:

“We mourn the death of our Bavarian Pope. The death of Benedict XVI touches me deeply, as it does many people in Bavaria and all over the world. With him, society loses a convincing representative of the Catholic Church as well as one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. In turbulent and challenging times, he was the religious leader of the Catholic faithful. Many people in his homeland will remember him with gratitude not only as Pope Benedict XVI, but also as a humble pastor … His visit of several days to Bavaria as the new Pope, expressing his love for the country and its people, is unforgettable. He always carried his homeland in his heart.”

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIORGIA MELONI:

“Benedict XVI was a giant of faith and reason. A man in love with the Lord who put his life at the service of the Universal Church and has spoken, and will continue to speak, to the hearts and minds of people with the spiritual, cultural and intellectual depth of his Magisterium. A Christian, a pastor, a theologian: a great man whom history will not forget.”

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

“My thoughts go out to Catholics in France and around the world, bereaved by the departure of His Holiness Benedict XVI, who worked with all his soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world.”

RISHI SUNAK, UK PRIME MINISTER:

“I am saddened to learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He was a great theologian whose UK visit in 2010 was an historic moment for both Catholics and non-Catholics throughout our country. My thoughts are with Catholic people in the UK and around the world today.”

CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Pope Benedict. He will be remembered as one of the great theologians of the 20th century. I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to these lands in 2010.”

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TWEETED A PRAYER:

“Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:

Your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation:

Which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

A light to reveal you to the nations:

And the glory of your people Israel.”