On the Announcement of the Resignation of the 265th Pope, Benedict XVI Upon hearing the sudden news on Februar […]
On the Announcement of the Resignation of the 265th Pope, Benedict XVI
Upon hearing the sudden news on February 11 that Pope Benedict XVI will resign from the papacy, I was deeply shocked because it has been thought that popes do not resign, but rather die in office.
Pope Benedict XVI stated the reason for his resignation as follows: “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 govern the barque 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 recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”
Although I would wish that he could have continued his ministry, after hearing his reason for the resignation, I have accepted it as a faithful, humble and courageous decision that the Pope has made on behalf of the significant ministry entrusted to him. It has even deepened my respect for the Pope.
During his eight-year papacy, Pope Benedict has prayed and worked so that people in the world can respect their God-given life and live in peace. He has eagerly committed himself to recognize the difficulties that the Catholic Church is facing, and to overcome the challenges.
We, the bishops of Japan, are profoundly grateful for his guidance and the compassion he has given to Japan. We especially will never forget that two years ago after the Great East Japan Earthquake, his solidarity and comforting words encouraged numerous people. We thank God for sending us the splendid Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI and pray to God that special blessings will be bestowed upon him.
In addition, a new pope will be elected soon. We pray that the Holy Spirit will come abundantly upon the Conclave convened to elect a new pope, and that we will be given a leader who will carry out the Church’ s mission to proclaim the Gospel of love, hope and peace prudently and with courage in this modern world filled with difficult challenges.