Kenya: President Ruto Mourns Pope Emeritus Benedict Xvi As a Towering Theologian

Nairobi — President William Ruto has mourned Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a towering theologian and a steadfast servant of the church.

In his message of comfort, the Head of State stated that his death marks the end of a truly great life.

“As a quiet and gentle leader, the late Pope Benedict XVI astutely applied his vast intellectual stature to shepherd the church through a delicate new millennium and served with great moral clarity in an era full of unprecedented challenges,” he said.

He stated that “after becoming the first Pope to retire in six centuries, his legacy underscores for the benefit of present and future leaders that service and institutions always come before the individual, regardless of their rank or status.”

Pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced Saturday, almost a decade after he became the first pontiff to resign in six centuries.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

He later told journalists the funeral would take place on Thursday, January 5, at St Peter’s Square, presided over by his successor Pope Francis.

Benedict had shocked the world in 2013 when he became the first pope since the Middle Ages to step down, citing his declining mental and physical health.

His death brings to an end an unprecedented situation in which two “men in white” — Benedict and Francis — had co-existed within the walls of the tiny city state.

Tributes poured in for a brilliant theologian who found himself overwhelmed by the responsibilities of leading the Catholic Church, particularly as it battled a worldwide scandal over clerical child sex abuse.

“Pope Benedict was one of the greatest theologians of his age — committed to the faith of the Church and stalwart in its defence,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

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