Today: Jun 19, 2024

Amritsar, Kashmir Bishop mourns passing away of Pope Benedict XVI 

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Amritsar: Dr. P K Samantha Roy, Bishop, Dioceses of Amritsar, general secretary, Church of North India (CNI), in a note to ‘Kashmir Images’ expressed his heartfelt sadness at the passing away of former Pope Benedict XVI who passed away on 31st December 2022, on the eve of New Year at the age of 95years.

The Bishop wrote: “I am saddened to learn about the home call of one of the most important religious heads of the world Pope Benedict XVI. He will always be remembered as an outstanding theologian who emphasized discovering and following basic biblical values and not indulging too much in consumerism. The world would also remember Pope Benedict XVI as an honest and bold leader who voluntarily abdicated his position on the grounds that he was not in the best of mental and physical form to continue. A rare example to be followed indeed.”

He further expressed: “I was personally and spiritually blessed by his teachings. He often referred to Jesus as a ‘friend’ who takes away our burdens and fears This has been very useful for me as a Bishop to deal with my own fears. I express my deepest condolences to the whole Roman Catholic Church in this hour of mourning, at the same time I thank God for the life and ministry of Pope Benedict XVI.”

Dr. Samantroy is incharge of all CNI properties in Kashmir including schools and Historic Churches. This includes Tyndale Biscoe School for boys, Mallinson School for Girls, Kashmir Valley School at airport road Humhama, all in Srinagar; and lone rural Christian school Tyndale Biscoe School, Tangmarg that once became a victim of arson and was burnt down.

This, and four historic churches including ‘All Saints Church’ Srinagar, church lane, ‘Saint Luke’ Dalgate Srinagar, ‘St Mary’s Church’ Gulmarg, all more than 125 years old, and ‘St John’s Church’ in Pahalgam near Forest hut, is about a 100 years old.

Pope Benedict XVI died, aged 95, almost a decade after he stood down because of ailing health. He led the Catholic Church for fewer than eight years until, in 2013, he became the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.

Benedict spent his final years at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery within the walls of the Vatican where he passed away at 09:34 (08:34 GMT) on Saturday.

His successor Pope Francis will lead the funeral on 5 January.