Idaho Bishop “surprised” by Pope’s resignation
Bishop Michael Driscoll of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise Monday released a written statement to the media on Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement.
The Bishop said, “As with other Catholics around the world, I was surprised by the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Chair of Peter this morning, effective February 28th. I am grateful for his humility and genuine concern for the pastoral care of Catholics throughout the world and can only imagine how difficult this time of discernment and decision must have been.
“I call on Catholics throughout Idaho to offer their prayers for our Pope and our people. Also, pray for the members of the College of Cardinals as they begin the process of listening to the Holy Spirit and electing a worthy successor.”
Bishop Driscoll met with Pope Benedict during the bishop’s ad limina visit to Rome on April 26, 2012.
Meantime, the Associated Press report that President Barack Obama is sending his thanks and prayers to Pope Benedict XVI, who announced Monday that he will step down this month.
Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama have warm memories of their 2009 visit with the pope. Obama is offering best wishes to the cardinals who will gather in mid-March to choose his successor, and says Catholics play a key role in the U.S. and abroad.
Benedict became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years when he declared he would resign Feb. 28, citing a lack of strength to do the job. When he was elected in 2005, he was 78 -- the oldest pope chosen in nearly 300 years.
(photo: courtesy Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise)
(AP contributed to this story)