CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CatholicVote.org, a national grassroots Catholic advocacy organization, issued the following statements in reaction to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's planned abdication:
Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote.org:
"Catholic Americans join their brothers and sisters in the Faith around the world in humble acceptance of the decision today by Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Chair of Peter later this month. This historic decision comes fittingly as the Church prepares to enter the season of Lent, where marked with ashes, we are reminded of our human limits and utter dependence on the grace and providence of the Lord of history. We are mindful that the universality of the Church is particularly visible during these historic events where the prayer, tradition, and grandeur of Catholicism are on display for the world. We give thanks for the rich pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and await with joyful hope and prayer the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Church in the weeks ahead."
Thomas Peters, Author, American Papist Blog, and Editor of CatholicVote.org Blog:
"Pope Benedict has been speaking openly about the precedent of a pope stepping down due to age or health for years — so this is not totally unexpected. In retrospect, he probably has been trying to prepare us for just such a moment as this one. Even though we have the modern memory of Bl. John Paul II serving heroically until his last breath does not mean every modern pope will do so. That said, this has not happened in 600 years. Nevertheless, be not afraid! The Holy Spirit is ultimately in charge of guiding, protecting and providing for the Church of Christ. Let nothing you dismay. We must all be praying to the Holy Spirit today and throughout Lent for the future of the Church and for the next pope."