PLATTSBURGH — This is an in-between time for the Roman Catholic Church.
With Monday’s announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papacy, effective Feb. 28, the world awaits the white-smoke outcome of a conclave of cardinals to elect a new pope.
In the meantime, local Catholics respond to the 85-year-old pontiff’s resignation.
The Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg:
“The Church, indeed, the whole world has been so richly blessed these last eight years through the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. While today’s announcement of his retirement at the end of this month came as a complete surprise, one can certainly understand it, given the grueling schedule of the Successor of St. Peter,” LaValley said in a press release.
“I have special affection and respect for the Holy Father who appointed me three years ago as Fourteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. The prophetic and compassionate leadership of this man of deep faith inspires such hope in millions of people, Catholic and non-Catholic, throughout the world.
“The Church of Ogdensburg joins people of good will everywhere in prayer of deep gratitude for this holy man. We now pray for the Church as she prepares to elect and entrust his successor to the Petrine Office.”
Sister Jennifer Votraw, Sisters of St. Joseph and Diocese of Ogdensburg director of communications:
“The Catholics, overall, are hopeful and surprised of the resignation and believe the Holy Spirit is behind it all, and it all will work for the best. The pope did make a decision that wasn’t hasty but was prayed over, and it was a decision that was best for the whole church and not just a personal decision.”
The Rev. John Demo, St. Philip of Jesus, Willsboro: