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Pastoral Messages & Homilies

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

The Holy See Press Office announced that the Pope Emeritus died at 9:34 am on the morning of Saturday 31st December 2022 in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the 95-year-old Pope emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013. (More in Vatican News)


Portrait of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI  (Vatican Media)

Statement from Bishop Paul Mason, Bishop of the Forces

With great sadness we pray today for the repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.


When thinking of Benedict it is often his intellect and clarity of thought which come to mind, gifts which were employed at the Second Vatican Council where he served as an "expert".  His interpretation of the Council as a continuation of the Church's missionary work in harmony with its tradition was, and still is, of great significance. For Benedict the Council was not a revolution but an evolution of the Church's outreach to the world in teaching the Good News.


Sometimes caricatured as "God's Rottweiler", he was a gentle and quiet man. His UK visit in 2010 owed much of its success to his own personal qualities and warmth. I attended his speech at Westminster Hall in 2010 where he delivered some challenging words but in such a way as to promote discussion and open debate. He was less a severe Defender of the Faith than a promoter of God's love and joy which formed and informed his outlook.  In this sense his orthodoxy was positive and affirmative. It was his focus on the person of Jesus and a desire always to return to the Son of God as the source of revelation which made his writing and his teaching so rich.


Benedict may be a great loss to the Church and the world but he leaves it richer due to his love of God and his service to His Church.


May he rest in peace...

Advent Pastoral Letter 2022

from the Bishop of the Forces

Lenten Pastoral Letter 2021

from the Bishop of the Forces

Bishop Paul's Christmas Message 2020

Advent Week Four
Deacon Neil Galloway MBE,
Royal Air Force Chaplain, reflects on the Fourth Week of Advent

click on image above to listen.

Advent Week Three
Fr Paschal Hanrahan CF VE,
Principal Catholic Chaplain, Army, reflects on the Third Week of Advent

click on image above to listen.

Advent Week Two
Fr David Conroy VE QCVS QHC,
Principal Catholic Chaplain, Royal Navy, reflects on the Second Week of Advent

click on image above to listen.

Image (c) Music (c) Farrell, B. 1994

Fr Daren Brown CF preaches for the East Riding of Yorkshire on-line Remembrance Sunday Service
Bishop Paul Mason speaks on the theme of Remembrance,
reflecting on the solemn 'punctuation' that this is for our nation each year.
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