The Rev. Matthew A. Laferty, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome, attended the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, representing the World Methodist Council. Rev. Laferty joined leaders from other Christian churches in paying their respects to the former Roman pontiff at the funeral on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City State on 5 January 2023. Pope Francis presided over the funeral.
“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,” said Rev. Laferty.
Following the funeral, Pope Francis met the church representatives including Rev. Laferty and thanked them for their presence.
The World Methodist Council is the worldwide Christian communion of Methodist/Wesleyan churches, representing 80 member churches with a total membership of 82 million members. The Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome is the official presence of the World Methodist Council in Rome.