Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

This morning I join with the Church in gratitude for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, and I pray for the Holy Spirit’s continued guidance for the Church in the weeks and months ahead. During the 10 years I served in Rome as an official in the Holy See, I had the privilege of meeting Pope Benedict on numerous occasions, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as the Supreme Pontiff. He appointed me a bishop in 2008 and last year named me the ninth bishop of Lincoln. He is a man I have long admired and respected.

Pope Benedict is a scholar, a teacher, a shepherd and, most importantly, a witness to the presence of Jesus Christ in the world. His fidelity to Christ and His Church is abundantly manifested in his love for the poor, for families, and for youth and students. Pope Benedict is known for his deep prayerfulness, his love for the sacred liturgy, and the study of sacred Scripture. He is erudite, eloquent, and self-giving. His steadfast leadership and prophetic witness as the chief shepherd will be deeply missed. As we look now to the Church’s future, I ask you to join me in commending the election of a new pope to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.

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