DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Denver’s Roman Catholic archbishop says he’s grateful for the service of Pope Benedict XVI and says his impact on the church will be felt for generations.
In response to the pope’s decision to resign, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila on Monday praised the pope as a man of “keen intelligence, great strength, compassion and humility.”
He said the pontiff’s life and work has borne incredible fruit and will continue to do so in his retirement.
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He asked all Christians and people of good will to lift their hearts in gratitude to God for the pope’s ministry.
Chancellor J.D. Flynn of the Denver Archdiocese said the Pope has helped shape the Catholic Church in Colorado with new movements and breathing new life into the Catholic community.
“I think a lot of people here are shaped by him, a lot of our priests are shaped by him; and so we’ll continue to understand his impact on the church and to feel his impact on the church for years to come,” Flynn said.
Some went to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception to say a special prayer for the Pope.
The cardinals will now elect a new pope in a secret meeting in the Sistine Chapel. Catholics should have a new leader before Easter.
Aquila’s complete statement lies below:
Denver archbishop lifts heart in gratitude for Pope Benedict XVI
This morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced, effective Feb. 28, he will resign the office of the papacy. I ask all Christians, and all people of good will, to join me in lifting their hearts in gratitude to the Father for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI in his service to Jesus Christ, the Church and all humanity.
Pope Benedict XVI is a man of deep faith with an extraordinary love for Jesus Christ and the Church. He is a man of keen intelligence, great strength, compassion and humility, who has faithfully served the Church throughout his life in diverse ways, always obedient to Christ and seeking the will of the Father. The witness of his life and work has borne incredible fruit and will continue to do so in his retirement. His impact on the Church will be felt for generations to come.
At 85, the Holy Father has heard the Lord call him to resign from his office due to his physical weakness and to prepare for a new shepherd to come forward in leadership to the Church. Let us join the Holy Father in commending the future of the Church to the Father’s care, to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to the intercession of our Blessed Mother. Let us praise the Lord for his servant of servants, Pope Benedict XVI.
Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.
Archbishop of Denver
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