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Scholz, Meloni, Von der Leyen, Macron and Sunak express their condolences on the death of the pope emeritus
MADRID, Dec. 31 (.) –
The main political leaders of Europe have shared this Saturday messages of condolences after the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, of German origin, recalling the historical importance of his figure and theological legacy.
One of the first to express his condolences was the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, a compatriot of Benedict XVI, whom he described as “an intelligent theologian” as well as “a special leader for the Church” capable of transcending borders.
The Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, has also expressed her regret over the death of “a giant of faith and reason”, of “a great in history whom history will not forget” even as the years go by.
“He put his life at the service of the universal Church and has spoken, and will continue to speak, to the hearts and minds of men with the spiritual, cultural and intellectual depth of his Magisterium,” he emphasized on Twitter.
At the European Union level, the President of the European Commission, the German Ursula Von der Leyen, wanted to highlight the “strong signal” that Benedict XVI sent with his resignation from office, since he showed that “he saw himself first as a servant of God and of the Church”.
“Once his physical strength waned, he continued to serve on the strength of his prayers,” von der Leyen added.
For her part, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said that “Europe mourns” the death of Benedict XVI, from whom she recalled a statement: “Do not be afraid of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness”.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, expressed his condolences on Twitter: “My thoughts are with the Catholics of France and the world, mourning the departure of His Holiness Benedict XVI, who worked with soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world.” .
The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, has described Benedict XVI as one of the greatest theologians of our time and has called for continuing his “great legacy”, while the Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, has referred to him as a “remarkable historical figure”, also stressing that he was the first Pope to abdicate in recent history.
Nehammer has recalled the visit of the pope emeritus to Austria, something that the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, has also done by paying tribute to the deceased on social networks. “I send my condolences to the Holy See,” Abela said.
In this line, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, has affirmed that all Catholics have lost this Saturday “an important spiritual and intellectual leader”, whom he has called to remember “with respect”. For the head of the Government of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, he was “one of the main intellectual figures of our time”.
Outside the EU block, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has expressed his condolences on behalf of his Government and the entire population of the United Kingdom, in memory of a “great theologian”. Sunak has described as “historic” the visit he made to the United Kingdom in 2010, “both for Catholics and for non-Catholics.”