POSTED: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 2:15pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 4:56pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — Below is a statement from Bishop of Baton Rouge Robert W. Muench on the resignation announcement from Pope Benedict XVI. This is the first time a pope has stepped down in nearly 600 years.
Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he is resigning the papacy at the end of the month brought surprise to the Church and to the world.
When I think of Pope Benedict, the words of St. Paul come to mind: 'Whatever you do, do with your whole heart. Do it for the Lord' (Colossians 3:23).
The Holy Father has distinguished himself by his transparent holiness, unswerving faith and fervent prayer. His brilliant intellect, prolific writings, enlightened leadership and tireless service have shown a tenacious fidelity to God and to the Church.
The words of Jesus himself also fittingly apply to this occasion: 'Well done, good and faithful servant' (Mt 25: 21).