Bishop comments on pope's 'humble decision' to resign
HARRISBURG - Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg has made the following statement in regards to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican stressed on Monday that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Still, Benedict said his advanced age means he no longer has the necessary mental and physical strength to lead the world's more than one billion Roman Catholics.
Here is the bishop's statement:
"While the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation initially draws forth a sense of sadness for Catholics throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg, this is not to the exclusion of profound gratitude for all that he has done and continues to do for the Church.
"From the very beginning of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has been committed to calling all men and women in the world to an authentic encounter with the Living Lord, Jesus Christ. Through his preaching and his teaching, particularly in the three volumes of Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy Father has never tired of proclaiming the true face of Jesus Christ. And so, our hearts are grateful for his unwavering commitment to the Gospel.
"That this comes during this Year of Faith, which Pope Benedict called the Church to celebrate, we can see his decision as a sign of his own deep faith that the Church is cared for by Christ himself. His humble decision invites every Catholic to have the same faith that Christ will continue to watch over us by sending a new faithful and holy Shepherd to guide the Church as its Pope and to care for God’s People on our pilgrim journey here on earth."