Pope Benedict XVI passed on quietly on this last day of the year Dec 31, 2022, at 9:34 in the morning (Vatican time). I wish to thank all of you who accompanied him in prayer and offered special Mass intentions for his peaceful passage into eternal life. We will fondly remember him, especially those among us bishops, who had been appointed by him to the episcopal ministry. (It was Pope Benedict XVI who appointed me bishop in July 2006.)

If Pope Francis is known as the Pope of Mercy and Joy, Pope Benedict will be remembered as the Pope of Charity. He began his episcopacy with a profoundly theological encyclical entitled DEUS CARITAS EST (God is Love). Among the many charisms God had bestowed on him, he will be specially remembered as a great theologian, catechist, and musician. He spent the last years of his life as an emeritus pope in solitude and contemplation, supporting the universal Church and Pope Francis spiritually with his prayers. Let us commend him to the Lord and pray for his eternal repose.

Eternal rest grant unto Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.

Requiescat in pace. Amen.

+Pablo Virgilio S. David
Bishop of Kalookan
President of CBCP
31 December 2022