Archbishop Chaput, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said, “As Pope Benedict XVI, he has led God’s people through complicated times with uncommon grace, and his stepping down now, at 85, from the burdens of his office is another sign of his placing the needs of the Church above his own. Catholics worldwide owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He will remain in our hearts and always be in our prayers.”
Bishop Barres, Diocese of Allentown, said, “I have a wonderful memory of going to the North American College in Rome during my graduate student priest days. As I walked down the Janiculum Hill one night, I came upon then-Cardinal Ratzinger who was walking up the hill on the other side of the street. He gave me this radiant smile after his long day and waved. It touched me deeply.”
Bishop Persico, Diocese of Erie, said “I think he should be commended for his decision. He not only has the wisdom and foresight to see the limitations of his age and health, but also has the humility to give up the office of St. Peter. He was able to humbly resign the office entrusted to him, making way for the church to have a new pastor, someone who will take up his leadership and continue the pastoral and spiritual care of the church.”
Bishop Brandt, Diocese of Greensburg, said “Pope Benedict is a brilliant scholar and a holy priest and bishop. Raised in the midst of the horrors of Nazism and World War II, he has spent his life teaching the Word of God as the response to the evil, godless secularism he saw in Nazism and communism. He has always been focused on the eternal truths of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and has constantly taught us about the dangers to our lives and souls posed by modern relativism and its child, which is secularism.
Bishop McFadden, Diocese of Harrisburg, wrote “That this comes during this Year of Faith, which Pope Benedict called the Church to celebrate, we can see his decision as a sign of his own deep faith that the Church is cared for by Christ himself. His humble decision invites every Catholic to have the same faith that Christ will continue to watch over us by sending a new faithful and holy Shepherd to guide the Church as its Pope and to care for God’s People on our pilgrim journey here on earth.”
Bishop Zubik, Diocese of Pittsburgh, spoke at a press conference today. View the video here
Bishop Bambera, Diocese of Scranton, wrote, “There is sadness that this great leader who has served the Church selflessly since being elected as successor of Saint Peter at 78 years of age in 2005, will be resigning from this singular ministry due to the diminishment of the health and strength needed to adequately address the demands of office. Yet, there is a deep gratitude to God for the blessings that have been so generously poured forth upon the Church through this gifted theologian and humble pastor who has served as successor of Saint Peter for almost eight years.”