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    Remembering Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: Tributes pour in from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

    NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Tributes and remembrances are pouring in across the Tri-State region following the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

    Benedict died Saturday in Vatican City at the age of 95.

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, called Benedict an “erudite, wise, and holy man, who spoke the truth with love.”

    The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, said the late pope emeritus “was a man of tremendous intellect and holiness who deeply loved God and served the Church generously throughout his whole life.”

    Many in our area felt a special connection to Benedict, recalling his papal visit to New York City in 2008.

    He toured Ground Zero and blessed 9/11 family members, survivors and first responders.

    Benedict also spoke at the United Nations and delivered a powerful message at a packed Yankee Stadium.

    Gary Krupp, a cofounder of the Pave the Way Foundation, which aims to build bridges between religions, met with Benedict 19 times and remembered him as “quiet and deliberate” and “a brilliant, brilliant scholar.”

    Both Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Brennan offered special prayers Saturday morning remembering Benedict.

    Dolan held a special Mass for Benedict at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    Its bells tolled 95 times before the Mass, reflecting Benedict’s age when he died.

    Cardinal Dolan’s complete statement:

    “The human family grieves the passing of this erudite, wise, and holy man, who spoke the truth with love. The family of the Church especially mourns his death, while grateful for the gift he was of a good shepherd and Holy Father. This archdiocese remembers with love his pastoral visit here in 2008. I personally sense the loss as he was so encouraging and appointed me Archbishop of New York and nominated me a Cardinal.

    “Faith and reason, the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, whom we remember with reverence, love and gratitude. I ask every parish in the archdiocese to offer a Mass for the Good Lords’ mercy upon his gracious soul, and in thanksgiving for his vocation as Successor of St. Peter. May the angels lead him into paradise!”

    Bishop Brennan’s complete statement:

    “Please join me in prayer for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI. Joseph Ratzinger, the late Pope, was a man of tremendous intellect and holiness who deeply loved God and served the Church generously throughout his whole life, first serving in Germany and then the Universal Church. He made tremendous contributions to the Second Vatican Council as a priest and theologian. Many of his contributions made their way into the documents of the Council, which charted the course for the Church in the modern era.

    “Pope Benedict XVI had a great mind, and his books have inspired me. He was a great teacher who helped us to understand and live our faith more profoundly. On a personal note, ten years ago, in 2012, he appointed me an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Later that year, he received the newly ordained bishops. There was a genuine kindness and gentleness about him. He gave us his full attention and encouraged us in our ministry as bishops. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.”

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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