Cinnaminson Pastor Calls Pope Resignation 'Courageous'
Rev. Peter R. Alindogan said it was a smart move for the ailing pope.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning he would resign at the end of this month citing health reasons, reports say, making him the first pontiff to do so in almost 600 years.
A local pastor is calling his move “courageous and smart.”
“It takes a lot of courage to do that,” said Rev. Peter James R. Alindogan, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in Cinnaminson. “It’s a good model for priests and bishops alike who are trying to hold onto their positions—the pope is saying, ‘I know when it’s my time to go.’”
Benedict, 85, was elected in April 2005 upon John Paul II’s death earlier that same month. John Paul II publicly dealt with pneumonia and breathing problems in the months before his death.
“If John Paul II taught us how to die with all his agony,” Alindogan said, “this pope is teaching us how to live.”
Benedict made the announcement to Vatican cardinals during a meeting Monday.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he told the cardinals. "I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.
"However, 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 St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths 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."
The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which includes Roman Catholic Churches in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, has announced last summer it will host the Vatican's 2015 World Meeting of Families. It is unknown if Benedict's successor will make an appearance.
Most. Rev. David M. O’Connell, the bishop of Trenton for the local diocese, said he feels sad about the announcement but sees “the courage and devotion of this great man.”
“In a world where power and influence are sought after and held tightly, this passing of the papal crozier speaks volumes about Pope Benedict XVI’s humility and desire that the Catholic Church be led effectively and well,” O’Connell added.
According to reports, the Vatican would hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March.