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Pope pays tribute to Albert Reynolds’ peace efforts

By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 August, 2014

Pontiff recalls "with gratitude" late Taoiseach’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland.

Albert Reynolds RIPPope Francis on Monday sent a telegram of condolence expressing his “sadness” on learning of the death of the former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

The message was conveyed by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to Mrs Kathleen Reynolds, her children and family, as well as mourners who attended Mr Reynolds’ funeral in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin.

The message was signed by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

It stated, “Recalling with gratitude the late Taoiseach’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland, His Holiness prays for the eternal repose of his soul.”

The message concluded by saying that the Pope imparted his apostolic blessing to all those gathered for the funeral rites “as a pledge of consolation and hope in the Risen Lord.”

At the conclusion of the funeral Mass, which was celebrated by the well-known priest, Fr Brian D’Arcy, a friend of the Reynolds’ family, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin addressed the congregation.

“In his life, in his responsibility for the political and economic destiny of those he was called to serve, Albert Reynolds was responsive and creative and determined in his desire to move forward in the search for peace and for a more just, secure and prosperous society,” the Archbishop said.

“He sought peace with determination,” the Archbishop underlined. He continued, “Today we urgently need an international community which seeks peace with similar determination at a moment in which our world is marked increasingly by horrendous violence.”

Elsewhere in his commendation, Archbishop Martin told mourners that, “In a special way, Albert has been remembered for the warmth and care and personal goodness of his human qualities and his devotion to his wife and family.”

“Resurrection means that the determination and goodness of this committed Christian man will now be transformed and will live on, because he is known and loved by God in such a way that he can no longer perish.”

“In his final encounter with the God of love, Albert’s sins and failings will be purged while the good that he did and the love that he showed will continue and will flourish in newness of life until one day we are all reunited in the presence of the Lord.”

Mr Reynolds’ remains were afterwards brought to Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill for burial.

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