The former President had a State Funeral, will all the honours and the presence of all former living Presidents of Chile Photo: Chilean Episcopal Conference

Catholic Funeral of Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, Including Pope’s Message

He would have pursued two objectives with his work, one explicit and the other private. The first, which he expressed repeatedly, was “to achieve the greatest glory of God and the goods of souls,” and the other, revealed in his correspondence with Father Gaspar Juárez and with Ambrosio Funes, a well-known resident of the city of Córdoba and former student of Father Juárez, to whom he seems to have expressed his most intimate concerns, was the restoration of order. He wanted to see the Jesuits “restored to honor and joy” and “with their own cassocks.”

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(ZENIT Noticias / Santiago de Chile, 09.02.2024).- Having learnt the news of the tragic death of former Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera, who held office twice (from 2010-2014 and 2018-2022), Pope Francis sent a telegram, expressing his prayer for the eternal repose of the former President, his profound sympathy to the members of his family and to all those mourning such a sad loss. In the missive, the Holy Father also recalls the figure of the Chilean President, describing him as a “man of faith who had great gifts of intellect and sincere passion for Chilean political life.”



The former President had a State Funeral, will all the honours and the presence of all former living Presidents of Chile (Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and Michelle Bachelet Jeria), in addition to the current President Gabriel Boric Font. Former President Ricardo Lagos Escobar did not attend, having announced ten days earlier his retirement from public life. Piñera’s funeral was held in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago.

Archbishop Fernando Chomalí Garib of Santiago said:

In this Solemn Mass it is not appropriate to do political or sociological readings of his person and his legacy. Historians, Sociologists and Political Scientists will do that. To us believers, when saying goodbye to him, it is our responsibility to pray for him and for the eternal repose of his soul, and to try to glimpse God’s footprint in his life. To try to see in what way the breath of the Holy Spirit led him to form a family and dedicate to it the best of his life and the talents the Lord gave him, to serve his country in the highest vocation to which a human being can aspire: politics being the first and irreplaceable source to attain the common good.



He continued:

Sebastian Piñera was Catholic and he expressed it in his gestures and in his words. It was notable to see him do the sign of the Cross when the capsule in the arid northern lands began to descend to the depth of the earth to rescue the miners locked in the bowels of the earth. It was moving to see a man with so much power, authority and responsibility kneel in the Holy Mass at the moment of the Consecration, as expression of his littleness before the unfathomable and infinite grandeur of God. A crucifix and family photos held a place of honour in all his offices. Sebastian Piñera was faithful to Sunday Mass, he had an endearing love for the Virgin Mary and a special devotion to [Chilean] Saint Alberto Hurtado. Hence, from childhood his life was shaped by the protection of the Gospels, of his family and of the Church that educated him. No doubt his uncle, Monsignor Bernardino Piñera, was significant in that process.



The Funeral Mass was presided over by Archbishop Fernando Chomalí Garib of Santiago. At the end of the liturgical celebration, his mortal remains were taken to La Moneda Palace [seat of the President of the Republic] and from there, to the Park of Remembrance Cemetery, where a last tribute was paid to him.


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