Condolences on the Passing of Pope Benedict

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To His Holiness Pope Francis
Members of the Roman Catholic Church

January 1, 2023

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) extends our heartfelt condolences to all of our mates and colleagues within the Roman Catholic Church, who’re feeling nice loss because of the passing of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict was an incredible theologian and scholar of the trendy Church. Among his many contributions, we’re moved by his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, in 2005, the place he spoke about God’s limitless love for humanity. This identical spirit of affection conjures up our Gaudiya Vaishnava religion. Pope Benedict was additionally a trailblazer. After serving the Church selflessly for a lot of a long time, he demonstrated his humility and detachment by stepping down from this highest submit, to usher in a youthful pontiff, Pope Francis. His instance of service and renunciation is a vital lesson for the world at the moment.

The Catholic Church underwent a historic change in 1965, when it adopted Nostra Aetate, an essential doc of Vatican II. Then referred to as Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict was a progressive voice of that Council. For ISKCON, 1965 can also be distinctive, as it’s the identical yr that Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada got here to the United States to hold the message of Lord Krishna and unfold love of God as understood by the Gaudiya Vaishnava custom.

In 1968, Prabhupada wrote to Pope Paul VI: 

His Holiness The Pope, Paul VI
Vicar of Jesus Christ

Your Holiness:

Please settle for my respectful humble obeisances at Your lotus toes….the particular significance of human life is to realize Love of God because the prime perfection of life….The human society is step by step degrading within the matter of religiosity, and justice; and “may is true” is step by step taking the place of morality and justice…as a result of Your Holiness is the Head of an incredible non secular sect, I feel we should always meet collectively and chalk out a program for cooperation…I shall be very a lot happy if Your Holiness will grant me an interview. Thanking you in anticipation for an early reply.

Yours within the service of the Lord,

AC Bhaktivedanta Swami


While Pope Paul VI and Srila Prabhupada had been unable to satisfy, since that point, and in the course of the time of Pope Benedict, ISKCON members have interacted with many leaders of the Catholic Church around the globe, and in varied interfaith codecs, each formally and informally, together with with cardinals, bishops, monks, lecturers, and lay-leaders.

In 2008, ISKCON members, together with Professor Ravi Gupta, had been kindly invited to satisfy Pope Benedict in Washington, D.C. throughout his go to to the United States. During a short change, Dr. Gupta knowledgeable the Holy Father in regards to the persevering with dialogue and pleasant interactions between our two faiths and establishments.

As said in Nostra Aetate, “…in Hinduism individuals discover the divine thriller and specific it each within the limitless riches of fable and the precisely outlined insights of philosophy. They search launch from the trials of the current life by ascetical practices, profound meditation and recourse to God in confidence and love…” 

Nostra Aetate additional declared, “The Church, due to this fact, urges its little kids to enter with prudence and charity into dialogue and collaboration with members of different religions. Let Christians, whereas witnessing to their very own religion and lifestyle, acknowledge, protect and encourage the religious and ethical truths discovered amongst non-Christians, along with their social life and tradition.”

During the time of Pope Benedict, we noticed the relationships between followers of ISKCON and the Church develop and blossom. We are grateful for Pope Benedict’s assist of these endeavors, and appreciative that the Church continues to welcome and encourage dialogue and cooperation in lots of boards around the globe.

We are grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for his devotion and his many a long time of service. We pray there might be a continued effort to “meet collectively and chalk out a program for cooperation” in selling peace, and love of God, all through the world.

On behalf of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Anuttama Dasa
ISKCON Minister of Communications
Member, ISKCON Governing Body Commission

Passing of HH Benedict XVI PDF Version



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