Catholic leaders respond to Pope's resignation
BATON ROUGE - Local Catholic leaders are responding to Pope Benedict XVI's resignation.
In a statement, Bishop Robert W. Muench of Baton Rouge said, "When I think of Pope Benedict, the words of St. Paul come to mind: "Whatever you do, do with your whole heart. Do it for the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). The Holy Father has distinguished himself by his transparent holiness, unswerving faith and fervent prayer. His brilliant intellect, prolific writings, enlightened leadership and tireless service have shown a tenacious fidelity to God and to the Church. The words of Jesus himself also fittingly apply to this occasion: "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Mt 25: 21)."
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said, "I have a great deal of admiration for Pope Benedict XVI and appreciate his recognition of the health issues he is facing. I admire his humility in asking the cardinals to come together in prayer to select his successor. I ask all Catholics to remember the Holy Father in prayer and to pray for the cardinals as they prepare for the conclave in order to select a successor for Pope Benedict XVI."
Pope Benedict is stepping down on Feb. 28, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
The 85-year-old pope says he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties.