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Pope's Resignation 'Admirable,' Clergy Say

Priests, parishioners in Long Valley and Chester surprised by announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation.

Catholics around the world — and at home — awoke to the news this morning that Pope Benedict XVI announced he is stepping down from his role as the spiritual leader of the Catholic church on Feb. 28 due of his health. 

That makes him the first pontiff in more than 600 years to resign the post, rather than remaining in the role for his lifetime.

Yet, the pope gave reasons for retiring that many would think that, at age 85, make a lot of sense, including note of his advanced age.

“I do think it’s a good decision on the part of our Holy Father because of his failing health,” said Father Mike Drury of St. Luke’s Parish in Long Valley. “It took a lot of prayer and courage to make such a decision and I admire him for that.”

Pope Benedict, whose birth name is Joseph Ratzinger, succeeded Pope John Paul II in 2005.

Drury, along with clergy from other area churches said the announcement came as a surprise, and there was no previous inclination about the decision.

The pontiff’s legacy, while his time was short compared to his predecessor, will be a lasting one.

“I most saw him as someone who tried to correct the wrongs within the church and a person who lived in a simple and humble way,” said Pastor Joe Goode of Our Lady of the Mountain and St. Mark’s churches in Long Valley. “Before he was pope he lived in a Roman neighborhood among the people – I always thought that showed a very pastoral side of him.”

Goode said he believes Pope Benedict is dedicated to the church, thus making this the best decision for the body as a whole.

Clergy and parishioners alike agreed on the future of the church, having complete faith in the process that will anoint a new leader.

“As Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide His Church on earth,” said Chester Councilwoman and St. Lawrence the Martyr parishioner Janet Hoven. “We believe the Spirit will guide through this, too.”

Drury echoed those sentiments, saying it was the church's faith that would guide the future.

“I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit guiding our church into the future,” Drury said. “This now becomes an opportunity for that Spirit to inspire us as we look to the future, not only for Catholics but for the entire Christian world. Let us pray together that our present Holy Father will have peaceful days to come and that the next Pope will inspire us and the world.”

How do you feel about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI? What do you think it means for the Catholic Church?

End Gamer February 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM
churchmilitant.tv is a great source for updates on Catholic happenings around the world
Sal Prisco February 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Perhaps a new pope will move forward on needed reforms such as permitting priests to marry and allowing women to become priests. For the first thousand years of the Christian church, priests were permitted to marry. In the early church, women did conduct ministries even if they were not ordained priests. Catholics may have to go back in order to go forward.
Hookerman February 12, 2013 at 01:57 PM
The church first needs to implement serious reform to prevent and deal with child sex abuse cases. The current pope has expressed a lot of regret over the matter, but has done very little to turn that regret into action.
Liberty February 12, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Priests could never marry once ordained, however married men could be ordained priests--and they still are to this day in the Eastern rites and in certain circumstances in the Latin rite (e.g. married Anglican clergy who convert are often given a dispensation permitting them to be ordained priests.)
tangled February 12, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I thought this was odd. God's track record would show a more proactive role in these decisions.
Comfortably Numb February 13, 2013 at 05:49 PM
this is what the catholic church needs more of http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR_QhpCv7KZiDHrTGkzgKX9bzB3uVCwW7H0liCqtZILtjzeGkG-
Alice Jameson February 13, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Seek professional help.
Comfortably Numb February 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Alice, you take things way too serious.......keep putting money in the churches basket so you can help fund the churches sexual predator settlements......and Im the one that needs help?
Alice Jameson February 13, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Hey, I said get professional help. I didn’t specify a mental health professional. And for the record, my money doesn’t go into any church’s basket.
Comfortably Numb February 14, 2013 at 07:34 PM
nobody ever made any mention of mental health??? your comment makes no sense,
Alice Jameson February 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Obviously, you spend too much time staring at pictures to read between the lines. My remark about professional help was intended to allude to a shrink OR a prostitute. Next time, I’ll skip the words and just put links to pictures.
Comfortably Numb February 15, 2013 at 03:26 AM
what the heck does prostitution have to do with any of this? The pic doesn't reference prostitution, although maybe your freudian does.... whew!!! You seem to be having enough trouble with the lines never mind between the lines. Give me something with substance Alice in Wonderland....PLEASE !!!! Hope you're not using your real name, that would be embarrassing
LV Outdoorsman007 February 18, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Next discussion: rocks and moss in a article about a fire. I do not see how hookers and mental health have anything to do about the (former) pope.
Alice Jameson February 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM
See what you like. I’ve wasted enough time expressing my disgust with CN’s denigration of Catholics and women. The man has problems; I merely suggested a few solutions.
Lou Sassle February 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Who cares ?? All the religious zealots have mental problems. You people pray to a " GOD in the sky " ???. You are all nuts. There is NO god - sorry to break the news to you. We evolved from single celled life forms. There was NO guy parting a sea ..... there was NO woman getting pregnant without being fertilized. And there is no reason - other than the FEAR of death and the unknown, that people cling to this MYTH. The bible was written by man in an effort to CONTROL man. Live your life - be kind - be helpful ... its a one lap race. There is NO afterlife.
Comfortably Numb February 18, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Lou, please tell me Santa Clause is real.
Alice Jameson February 18, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I don’t really miss God, but I sure miss Santa Claus. I think we’ve finally found some common ground, CN.
Comfortably Numb February 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Chill on the hate Alice, and may God be with you, or may somebody be with you.
Robin February 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Is there is no afterlife, what do we tell all the ghosts?
Henry Krinkle February 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM
7:40 pm on Monday, February 18, 2013 Is there is no afterlife, what do we tell all the ghosts ---------------------------------------------------------- That is why they stick around...there's nowhere else for them to go.
mrwilson February 19, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Loose ass__le makes a good point.
LV Outdoorsman007 February 19, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Santa Claus!!
LV Outdoorsman007 February 19, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Poor ghosts...

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