The Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome extends its condolences to His Holiness Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict’s life was marked by both prayer and action for Christian unity. A keen theological thinker, Pope Benedict will be remembered by Methodists for his encouragement of ecumenical theological dialogue, especially the international Methodist-Catholic dialogue. He welcomed the Methodist accession to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine on Justification, telling World Methodist Council leaders prior to the 2006 Methodist Statement of Association to the JDDJ that “[joining the JDDJ] would assist in contributing to the healing and reconciliation we ardently desire, and would be a significant step towards the stated goal of full visible unity in faith” (Statement of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Representatives of the World Methodist Council, 9 December 2005).
The Rev. Matthew A. Laferty, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome, noted, “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a committed ecumenist who sought Christian unity through prayer and theological dialogue between Churches. He never shied away from candid conversation about serious church-dividing issues, while also encouraging further study and reflection between Methodists and Catholics in our joint pursuit for Christian unity.”
May Benedict rest in peace and rise in glory.
Photo: Pope Benedict XVI on 22 September 2011 by WDKrause @ CC BY-SA 3.0
Editor’s note: Statement updated on 01 January 2023 at 21:05