VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda is attending the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Thursday.
Nauseda said on Tuesday that the pope's death was a great loss for the Church and for all the faithful.
"We offer our condolences over the death of Benedict XVI," the president told reporters after signing the book of condolences at the Apostolic Nunciature in Vilnius.
“He was a great thinker but also a humble, simple man who was close to the people, close to his students, and he upheld the traditional values developed over the centuries, refined the Church's teaching and tried to adapt it to the present day. At the same time, he remained true to very strong principles," he said.
Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said after signing the book of condolences at the Apostolic Nunciature on Tuesday that Benedict XVI was close to the people of Lithuania.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who in 2013 was the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign as head of the Catholic Church, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday.
Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of his predecessor at the basilica.