Indian Church hails Pope Benedict on 90th birthday
By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: An Indian bishop has hailed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a “great intellectual giant” and an “erudite and knowledgeable theologian,” who has contributed immensely to the Universal Church and the world.
A message issued three days ahead of the former pontiff’s 90th birthday on April 16, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) secretary general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas acknowledges him as a “great man” who “enthralled the Church and the world with his simplicity, humility and his ardent efforts for peace in the world.”
The message describes Pope Benedict XVI as holy man who brought lots of blessings to the whole Church as well as humanity.
The retired Pope, it adds, has contributed immensely to the Universal Church through his teaching and example. “He influenced the people across barriers of nationalities, regions, languages and cultures through inspirational appeals, pleading regularly for prayers and restoration of the faith and peace in the world.”
Hailing Pope Benedict XVI’s “gentleness and affability” that touched people all around the world, Bishops Mascarenhas says he always lived what he preached.
The CBCI official also recalls Pope Benedict’s advice to a group of Indian bishops in 2011 to remain the friend of the poor and pledges the Church’s continued service to India and its people.