Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has Benedict XVI. after his death as "giant of faith and reason". The Pope Emeritus died on New Year's Eve at the age of 95. The head of government called the German "a man for the love of the Lord, who has put his life at the service of the universal Church and has spoken and will continue to speak to the hearts and minds of the people with the spiritual, cultural and intellectual depth of his teaching ministry".
"A Christian, a pastor, a theologian: a great man whom history will not forget," she wrote in a statement. "I have expressed to the Holy Father Francis that the government and I personally share in his grief and that of the entire communion."