BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Baton Rouge Bishop Michael G. Duca says he is joining the diocese in expressing deep sorrow at the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95 on Saturday, Dec. 31. He was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign the position.

Duca issued the following statement on the pope’s death:

“His remarkable life spanned nearly a century, a tumultuous time in the history of our world and an era of great change in our Church. His contributions range from his participation in Vatican II, to his directing the publication of the new Catechism, to his role in updating and publishing the Code of Canon Law.

“His papacy followed that of one of our most revered Holy Fathers, and he dutifully assumed the role of the Good Shepherd, governing lovingly and with mercy, but ever true to the Magisterium of the Church. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI retired to a monastery at the Vatican to live out his days in prayer and meditation. May he now rest in God’s peace for all eternity.

Bishop Michael G. Duca