House conveys condolences to Catholic Church over Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's death

The House of Representatives has adopted a measure conveying to His Holiness Pope Francis the profound condolences of the chamber over the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Adopted by the House members during plenary session Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 24 was House Resolution (HR) No. 688.

The resolution was introduced by Speaker Martin Romualdez (1st district, Leyte), Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe (2nd disttoct Zambonga City), Minority Leader Marcelino "Nonoy" Libanan (4Ps Party-list), Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos, Committee on Accounts Chairperson Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez (Tingog Party-list) and Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre (Tingog Party-list).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, first German pope of the modern era, died in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery at the Vatican in Rome on Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95.

He was born as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, to parents Joseph and Maria Ratzinger.

“As a predominantly Catholic country, the Filipinos share in the sorrow of those grieving over the loss of an endeared man of faith, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and he will always be especially remembered as a Pope of Charity, a great theologian, catechist, and musician who gave hope to all those who know his life, his principles and his legacy,” the resolution said.

At the age of 24, Ratzinger was ordained a priest along with his brother Georg. As a young priest, he established himself as a highly regarded theologian and served as chief theological advisor to the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Josef Frings during the Second Vatican Council.

He was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany by Pope Paul VI in March 1977; ordained bishop in May; and proclaimed cardinal in June of the same year.

The House measure noted that for nearly 25 years, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was the powerful head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was considered as one of the greatest theologians of the Catholic Church.

As Dean of the College of Cardinals, he presided over the deliberations during the vacancy of the Holy See following the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005. On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected the 265th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and chose the name Benedict XVI.

The resolution also noted that in his papacy of nearly eight years, Pope Benedict XVI appointed eight archbishops and 22 bishops in the Philippines.

On February 11, 2013, due to his advanced age, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, thus becoming the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

He subsequently installed himself at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, where he devoted himself to a life of prayer and study, and chose the title, “Pope Emeritus".

“Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI worked with all his soul and intelligence for a more fraternal world, promoting peace and goodwill to all people,” the resolution said.

A copy of the adopted resolution will be furnished to the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Manila.