Diocese of St. Petersburg at 6363 9th Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33710 US - Statement of Bishop Robert N. Lynch on the Occasion of the Announcement of the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI 

Statement of Bishop Robert N. Lynch on the Occasion of the Announcement of the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI 

Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch with Pope Benedict XVI at the Ad Limina visit in May 2012. Photo credit: Servizio Fotografico de "L.O.R" Cita del Vaticano. 

St. Petersburg, FL: The announcement in Rome this morning by Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign as Bishop of Rome and therefore relinquish the Petrine ministry was both stunning to many and surprising to some. I have had the unique privilege in my own priestly life to come to know Josef Ratzinger well and when he said shortly after his election as our Pope that he would resign if his health ever would not permit him to fulfill his responsibilities as he saw fit, I believed him. 


His own succession followed, as all will remember, a long period of serious illness of Blessed John Paul II during which the world watched a once formidable figure who survived an assassination attempt die slowly, painfully but as an example for us all. Pope Benedict watched that chapter of the Church’s history and from the beginning did not wish its repeat. So he has done what he said he would do and once again demonstrates his love and zeal for the Church. 

I repeat what I often said at the time of his election – the Church was given a leader with an incredible intellect, a pastor’s heart, and a very patient listener. I sensed when we briefly reminisced about our work together last May (2012) that I was saying good-by. I am happy for him that he is going to spend the rest of his days on earth at peace in prayer and study. And I shall always thank him for his love of the Church. 

I ask the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg to especially pray for Pope Benedict between now and February 28, 2013 and only then begin our prayers to the Holy Spirit for our new Holy Father, whomever he might be. 

PDF Version of Statement: English / Spanish

Bishop Lynch's Blog Post "An Amazing Gift"

Bishop Lynch's Blog Post "What A Lent This Is Going to Be"

Parishes Resources
With the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, 2013m, our Office of Worship has pulled together a liturgical resource for parishes to use. Also available is a more detailed USCCB resource produced by the Office of Divine Worship in Washington, DC. Bishop Lynch has granted permission for these Masses to be offered in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Press Conference Audio by Spirit FM 90.5








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