Pontifical Requiem Mass for the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
A Pontifical Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be held on Saturday at noon at the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned, presided by Bishop Zammit and concelebrated with all the clergy.
The mass, which will be attended by the Governor, the Chief Minister and other dignitaries, comes after the Vatican announced the death of Benedict earlier this week.
Benedict, the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role, died aged 95 in the Mater Ecclesia Monastery in the Vatican at 9.34am on Saturday, December 31.
Earlier this week, Gibraltar’s Bishop Carmel Zammit expressed sadness at the news and said the thoughts of the Catholic community were with Benedict’s family, Pope Francis, and Archbishop Gänswein, who looked after him since his retirement in 2013.
“I, the Priests and all the faithful of the Diocese of Gibraltar give thanks to God for the gift that he has been to the Catholic Church over such a long and fruitful life of selfless service,” he said in a message.
Speaking on GBC later, the Bishop added: "He has been a great man in the sense that, although his books are very theological, whenever I used to hear him preaching as a Pope, he came down to the level of the people and it was easy to understand what he was saying.”
"He was very profound [and] he was an intellectual really, and an academic."
"The church has lost a great man."
"We pray for him and we pray that God will reward him for the life of service in humility that he gave to the church."
Following the news on Saturday, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo wrote to Pope Francis and the Bishop of Gibraltar to express the sincere condolences of His Majesty's Government of Gibraltar and the people of Gibraltar on the passing of Pope Benedict.
In his letter, the Chief Minister reflected on how many people in Gibraltar would have heeded Pope Francis's call to pray in support of his predecessor in the past few weeks and how loved and respected Pope Benedict was throughout the Catholic religion and in Gibraltar.