LA Archbishop Gomez Celebrates Late Pope Benedict as `Gentle Soul' in Mass

Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass - February 13, 2013

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - José H. Gomez, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, offered remarks in praise of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels today at a mass celebrating the pope's life.

Benedict, who died last week at the age of 95, was laid to rest in Rome earlier Thursday, with his successor -- Pope Francis -- presiding over his funeral. Gomez was appointed Archbishop of Los Angeles in 2010 by Benedict, and he said he will always be grateful to the former pope for the honor of serving Los Angeles.

Gomez called Benedict a gentle soul and a beautiful man, who was ``one of the most brilliant minds'' in the history of Western civilization. ``I personally will remember him most of all for his kindness to me and his deep humility,'' Gomez said.

Gomez said that Benedict, who was pope from 2005 until he stepped down in 2013, devoted his life to leading people to friendship with Jesus.

``His legacy will be the countless who found friendship with Jesus through his love, through his gentle invitation to come and see,'' Gomez said. Benedict ``understood that the modern world is moving away from God,'' and that ``faith was fading from the hearts of many people,'' according to Gomez.

``But he also knew that God is not finished with his creation, not done building his kingdom on Earth,'' Gomez said.

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