The Catholic community is stunned.
(Cleveland) - Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon has issued the following statement regarding the announced resignation of the Pope:
Today’s announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign as Holy Father on February 28, 2013 is an historic event and an action motivated by his love of the Church.
One of my fellow bishops had this reflection on today’s announcement which I would like to share, “Most of us know in our own personal lives what it means to see a parent grow old and decline in ability. That is the sense we bring to this announcement by our spiritual father.”
Pope Benedict XVI has been faithful and dedicated to Jesus Christ his entire life, exemplified in establishing this current Year of Faith when he asked, ”All Catholics to live their relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Although I did not know him well, a year ago I had the privilege to spend about 40 minutes with Pope Benedict along with my fellow bishops of Ohio as we discussed Church matters in Ohio and the United States. He interacted with us demonstrating his pastoral heart.
I encourage the Faithful to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, asking God to bless him with his gifts of peace and joy, also, I invite all the Faithful to join with me to pray to the Holy Spirit asking him to give us a successor who will continue leading our Church and reflecting the image of Jesus Christ.
You can count Cleveland native and theological historian Father Joseph Tedesco among those stunned at Pope Benedict's decision to retire February 28th.
Fr. Tedesco says the pope's admission that he cannot keep up with the demands of the job thanks to his advanced age and diminishing strength.
Fr. Joe also says Benedict's traditional nature is also another reason why many are surprised he's exiting the papacy.
A conclave of cardinals will soon be convened to determine who the next pope will be. Father Tedesco says the next pontiff will likely come from Latin America, Africa or Italy.
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