A congregation of around 150 heard Bishop Peter Collins pay tribute to Pope Benedict in his homily at the 12 noon Requiem Mass.
“Joseph Ratzinger was nurtured by the authenticity of faith, hope and love that was embedded within his loving and courageous Catholic family. He was a man whose natural demeanour was characterised by courteous gentility and with a generosity of spirit he sought always to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit,” said Bishop Peter.
“His faithful allegiance to providential grace guided his vocational path, leading him to the priesthood, to the episcopate and to the papacy.”
“He was a man endowed with an intelligence that prompted searching enquiry, that enabled honest and precise analysis and that provided a foundation for the creative integration of faith and reason,” said Bishop Peter.
Pope Emeritus Benedict will lie in state at the Vatican until his funeral on Thursday January 5.
Solemn Vespers will be celebrated at St John’s Cathedral on Wednesday January 4 at 6pm with ecumenical and civic representatives in attendance.
Click here or below to see a picture gallery of the Requiem Mass at St John’s Cathedral. Pictures by Keith Morris.