Polish president stresses importance of Benedict XVI

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, stressed the contribution of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Catholic Church after he attended the Pope's funeral in the Vatican on Thursday.

The ceremonial funeral of Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday, was led by Pope Francis, who replaced Benedict in 2013 after the latter retired.

Both the Polish president and the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, attended the ceremony which gathered thousands in Saint Peter's Square.

At a press briefing held after the funeral, Duda stressed Benedict XVI's contribution to the Catholic Church.

"Undoubtedly, Benedict XVI was one of the most important figures of the global Church in the past decades," Duda said. "His passing is certainly a great loss for the Church."