A Canadian cardinal says Pope Benedict XVI had an astounding intellect and his writings will help guide Catholics for centuries to come.
The statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, comes after the 95-year-old Pope Emeritus died on Saturday at his home in the Vatican.
Collins says as pope, Benedict provided a “clear and loving message” of how faith can offer a guide through the “storms of life’s journey.”
The intellectual German theologian and prolific writer was known as a reluctant pope who became the first in 600 years to resign.
His dramatic exit in 2013 paved the way for the election of Pope Francis, who will preside over Benedict’s funeral Thursday, marking an unprecedented moment in the history of the papacy with a reigning pope eulogizing over a retired one.
Collins says Benedict offered a personal example of “fidelity and what it is to be a devoted disciple of Jesus.”
— With files from The Associated Press