Speaker mourns Pope Benedict's passing

House Speaker Martin Romualdez has joined the rest of the world in mourning the death of Pope Benedict XVI, who served as Pope emeritus.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (left) and Pope Benedict XVI (Facebook)

"We mourn with the rest of the world with the passing of a great leader of the Catholic faith, Pope Benedict XVI," Romualdez said in a statement posted on his social media on Sunday, Jan. 1.

"As a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines shares in the sorrow of those in grief over the death of an endeared and very charismatic man of faith. But with this grief comes hope and joy as we celebrate his life, his principles, and his legacy," he said of Pope Benedict.

"And may we find comfort in the thought that Pope Benedict XVI is now in the loving arms of our heavenly father," added the Leyte 1st district congressman.

Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, Pope Benedict XVI headed the Catholic Church from April 19, 2005 up to his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013. He subsequently took on the title of Pope Emeritus and was succeeded by Pope Francis.

"Papa Ratzi" was the elected successor of the beloved Pope John Paul II, a multi-time visitor to the Philippines.

Pope Benedict died at the age of 95 last Dec. 31.