WASHINGTON (CNS) – U.S. Catholic Church leaders who awoke to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will retire at the end of February said they were surprised by the news but admired the pontiff's courage and humility for making the decision.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal Church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month.
"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," the pope told cardinals gathered for an ordinary public consistory to approve the canonization of new saints.
Pope Benedict, who was elected in April 2005, will be the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.
Deacon Arthur L. Miller, director of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Black Catholic Ministries, preaches the homily on Feb. 10 at the 10th annual Mass in observance of Black History Month. Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of the Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. Attendance was lower than in previous years as a result of a blizzard days before, but the Archdiocesan Gospel Choir enhanced the liturgy with joyful praise in song. (Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer)
HARTFORD – Enthusiasm continues to build as the Archdiocese of Hartford rolls out an array of events, resources, activities and liturgies designed to celebrate the Year of Faith that Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed to encourage Catholics to renew their faith.