Bishop Muench's statement on pope's transition
BATON ROUGE - Bishop Robert Muench, the Bishop of Baton Rouge, released the following statement today about the transition of Pope Benedict XVI to his new position as "emeritus pope."
"The transition of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to Pope Emeritus is an occasion of historic proportion for the Church and beyond. Born and baptized on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest in 1951, an archbishop in May 1977 and elevated to the College of Cardinals a month later. In 2005, he became the first German pope since the eleventh century. (The beautiful pectoral cross I am wearing was a gift of Benedict XVI to me and each of the American bishops of Region V when we had our Ad Limina Visit to the Holy See two years ago).
"At this new crossroads in the Roman Catholic Church, we thank God and him for his zealous and faithful service to Christ and the Church. We also call upon the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinal-electors in choosing the new successor of Peter. As Catholics, we pledge our fidelity to the process and decision, and join in prayer for the 266th pope to receive the full grace of office in becoming the Vicar of Christ on earth."