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Press Release

Coat of Arms

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Dec. 31, 2022) – 

The message below is from Bishop David L. Ricken on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who passed away December 31 at 9:34 a.m. local time in Vatican City. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has been called from this life to eternal life, and today we begin a period of mourning and gratitude. There will be special Masses and prayers offered throughout the next days for the repose of his soul and in gratitude for his long service of God and the Catholic Church as a priest, theologian, bishop, cardinal and the successor to Peter as pope. 

He spoke and wrote with great simplicity and depth, and much of his life's effort was spent in helping people understand how much they are known and loved by God and how much Jesus needs to be the center of our lives. The breadth of his intellectual acumen, as well as his ability to be truly humble while leading and serving as a pastor and teacher of the faith, is something for which we can be most grateful. He led the Church with clarity and courage, often in the face of great criticism. 

May God continue to guide and direct the Church in these most challenging times as we return this gift of a great “servant of the servants of God” to the One who loves him most. 

Sincerely yours in Christ, Bishop David L. Ricken, DD JCL 

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Media Inquiries: Bishop Ricken will be taking interviews tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, after the 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay. If you plan on being present, please email Justine Lodl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Who we are: As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 256,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago. 

Contact: Justine Lodl, director of communications, at 920-272-8213 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Sarah Gietman, communications coordinator, at 920-272-8209 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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