WEST NORFOLK: Church leaders tell of shock at Pope’s decision to resign
West Norfolk’s Catholic community has expressed its shock at the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
The pontiff, who is 85, announced his decision to stand down at the end of the month yesterday.
And church leaders in the Lynn area were quick to pay tribute to him.
Rev Peter Rollings, parish priest for Lynn’s Catholic churches, said: “I am shocked as it was totally unexpected and sad really, as he has been a tremendous leader for us.
“But at the same time it is a decision he has thought hard and prayed about, and has taken it for the good of the church thinking he couldn’t give it his full energies. We look to the future.”
In a statement, Pope Benedict said: “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 steer the boat 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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.”
Pope Benedict is the first leader of the Catholic Church to stand down from the post in almost 600 years. It is expected that a new Pope will be elected before Easter, which falls at the end of next month.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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