Pope Benedict XVI announced, Monday morning, he will resign at the end of the month. The news is garnering all sorts of reaction from Catholics, even non-Catholics, here in our area.
The news of the resignation is still fresh for thousands in our area, including Bishop Paul Swain.
"The Holy Spirit, which guided his election in 2005, guided his decision now and will guide the decision of his successor," Bishop Swain said.
Parishoners attending mass at the St. Joseph's Cathedral at noon say they're slightly disappointed.
"It's not a good decision. I'm sad that he's resigning because God chose him to do that work and it's there for him until the last minute," Hellen Njiiri said.
It's a decision Hellen Nijiiri hopes the Pope will re-think. Meanwhile, she knows he will always do what's best for the church.
"It is my request to the Pope, we as Christians, that we are still praying for him," Nijiiri said.
Bishop Swain knows, more than anyone, it's a big decision that just needs our prayers and support.
"Most of us would have a hard time giving that up such a powerful and impacted decision. He's come to the decision that it's the best thing for the church. I admire him for that," Bishop Swain said.
Read the Bishop's full statement below:
"It is with sadness yet with gratitude that I acknowledge the decision by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to resign from office. The Holy Spirit, who guided his election in 2005, surely has guided his decision now, and will guide the election of his successor.
A teacher at heart, Pope Benedict XVI has, through written and spoken word, but especially by faithful witness, taught us to contemplate the higher things and to defend truth. He has always done so with integrity, humility and a special love for those most vulnerable. His courageous act today is but another example of his having the heart of a gentle shepherd protecting his flock.
I am especially grateful to him for having appointed me as Bishop of Sioux Falls. On behalf of all the faithful of our diocese we wish His Holiness a prayerful and peaceful retirement. Our prayer for him in the days ahead is that offered at the ordination of a bishop: May God, who has begun the good work in you, bring it to fulfillment."
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