Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
PHILADELPHIA With the news of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign on February 28, the Most Reverend Archbishop Charles C. Chaput of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia, the nation's Catholic archbishop who is American Indian, issued the following statement on Monday:
Prairie Band First Lady Delores Ortiz,
Archbishop Caput and Chairman Steve Ortiz in 2008
"From his work as a young theologian at Vatican II to his ministry as universal pastor of the Church, Joseph Ratzinger has served God and the global Christian community with intelligence, eloquence and extraordinary self-sacrifice.
As Pope Benedict XVI, he has led God's people through complicated times with uncommon grace, and his stepping down now, at 85, from the burdens of his office is another sign of his placing the needs of the Church above his own. Catholics worldwide owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He will remain in our hearts and always be in our prayers."
Pope Benedict is the first time in almost 600 years that a Catholic pope has resigned. It is unique in that a living pope will know who his successor will be to become the leader of the Roman Catholic church.
The announcement that Pope Benedict was released by the Vatican at 6:00 am est. In the announcement, he cited his age as a factor in leaving the papal position he was elected pope on April 19, 2005.
“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,”
Pope Benedict said in a prepared statement.
He is a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and serves as chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee on Native American Affairs.
posted February 11, 2013 3:20 pm est