Papacy of Pope Benedict XVI Highlighted his Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life, Says Cardinal Dolan

February 11, 2013 By Public Affairs Office
Sad he will resignbut grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership Reached out to religiouslythreatened in Middle East, poor in Africa, world’s youth Highlighted value ofhuman life

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolanof New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued thisstatement moments after learning of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI onFebruary 11, 2013.

Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan

The Holy Fatherbrought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and theconfidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is butanother sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will beresigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successorof St. Peter.

Though78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they wereof all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened –Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poorin Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany,and Spain.

Hedelighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington andNew York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the WhiteHouse. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer atNationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feelingpain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, hebrought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

PopeBenedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of adictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out aboveall others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.

Heunified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing themback to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed.That message is for eternity.

Hespoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality amongnations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitableshare of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.

Thosewho met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings foundthemselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhereto know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

Theoccasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives ascitizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift ofPope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals underthe inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet thechallenges present in today’s world.

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