Taoiseach and President Higgin...


Taoiseach and President Higgins Pay Tribute to Late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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Tributes are pouring in to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who died today at the age of 95.

The former head of the Catholic Church made history in his lifetime by being the first to abdicate the position in over 600 years.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was "saddened" to hear of his passing, saying he was "ultimately a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord".

The Taoiseach continued: "Today my thoughts are with Archbishop Eamon Martin and with all those in Ireland who will find the news of his passing as both saddening but also difficult.”

President Michael D. Higgins also extended his condolences, remembering Pope Benedict XVI for his efforts to promote unity and peace, especially in Northern Ireland.

He said that the former Pope's work was respected "by both supporters and critics".

"Of particular importance was that during his tenure", President Higgins continued, "Pope Benedict sought to highlight both the common purpose of the world’s major religions and his injunctions as to how our individual responsibilities as citizens require the highest standards of ethics in our actions".

Born in rural Bavaria in 1927, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest there in 1951.

He became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, then choosing to resign from the role in 2013.

Main image shows Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI arriving in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in 2014. Picture by: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

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