As news reports have indicated, Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign at the end of February. Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison has offered the following statement in regards to this development:
With the rest of you, I woke this morning to learn of the shocking, but not altogether surprising, news that our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is resigning his service as the successor of St. Peter, Bishop of Rome. His announcement brings me sadness personally, as he is a hero to me and a great shepherd for the Church. I first met the Holy Father as Cardinal Ratzinger in 1983. But knowing his decision was made after prudent consideration of the needs of the entire Church, and reflecting on his own human limitations, should bring us all a great deal of consolation. Pope Benedict, has offered a tremendous act of humility and courage, for the good of the entire Church. He knows, that given the fast-paced world in which we live, his prayer is the best gift he can give each one of us, as members of Christ’s Church. I know I speak for all faithful Catholics when I say, he is loved and he will be missed.
Join me, and the faithful of the whole world, in prayer for Pope Benedict, during these last weeks of his papacy, and that God will grant him serenity, as he quietly leaves the See of Peter, and the world stage. We pray in thanksgiving for the clear wisdom, deep love, and profound holiness he gently brought to the Office of Pope these past eight years. We pray too that his successor, our next Holy Father, will truly be a chief shepherd of the Church according to the heart of Christ.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison
11 February 2013