The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Monday, February 11, 2013

Let us pray

NOTE: By now you have likely heard that Pope Benedict XVI, citing his advanced age of 85, has announced that he will resign effective February 28. Benedict, who was elected in April 2005 as successor to Blessed John Paul II, is the first Pope to resign in more than 600 years. Below is the statement issued by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in response to the Pope's announcement. I particularly like the first paragraph and concur wholeheartedly. Let us pray for Pope Benedict, for the Church, and the world it serves and guides. In particular, through the intercession of the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, let us pray for those cardinals who will soon elect a new Holy Father, that in all things, God's will be done. -- Br. Francis

"The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.

Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, and Spain.

He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.

He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.

He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.

Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world."
-- Cardinal Timothy Dolan,
President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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