Bishop Lennon Reacts to Pope’s Resignation

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(CNN) — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28.

The following is the full text of Benedict’s declaration:

“Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon released the following statement regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation:

“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’ 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

 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.

February 11, 2013″

*For additional coverage on Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, click here