A Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury on Pope Benedict’s resignation

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict’s declaration of his decision to lay down the burden of ministry as Bishop of Rome, an office which he has held with great dignity, insight and courage. As I prepare to take up office I speak not only for myself, and my predecessors as Archbishop, but for Anglicans around the world, in giving thanks to God for a priestly life utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ. He has laid before us something of the meaning of the Petrine ministry of building up the people of God to full maturity....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

4 Comments
Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

A marvelous response from ++Justin Welby.  I fully agree.  I’m still so shocked at the news of the papal resignation that I hardly know what to think.  But perhaps, after all his many other illustrious contribtuions to the worldwide Church over his many years of faithful service, including his prolific writings that demonstrate such theological depth and fidelity, this brave and innovative act may crown his ministry with a parting gift of tremendous value.  In retirement, he will devote his remaining years to prayer.  What a powerful, yet quiet witness.  While not as flamboyant or popular as his inimitable predecessor, John Paul II (“the Great”), Benedict XVI has been just as courageous and faithful in his own way.

And that is what we all are called to do, to be as courageous and faithful to Christ as we can, but in the unique way that God has made us, equipped us, and called us to be.

Although I’m not an RC, I have greatly admired this man for his deep faith, brilliant intellect, highly evangelical (in the broad sense) and Christ-centered teaching, as well as for his sterling integrity, and for doing his utmost to serve Christ and his Church, not least by guarding the apostolic faith with such tenacity and wisdom.  He will be sorely missed.  And not just by conservative Catholics.

There were so many times over the last decade when I would have been so very happy if we Anglicans could have somehow traded Rowan Williams to Rome to get Joseph Ratzinger in turn.  But I doubt the College of Cardinals would’ve accepted even the whole English HoB in trade for His Holiness, for indeed, that would still have been an unfair trade, to Rome’s disadvantage.

Doubtless the hardcore Protestants in the Anglican world will be upset by ++Welby’s positive words about the Petrine office.  I’m sure that the ultra-Protestant, neo-Puritan folks in Sydney will be particularly offended.  But I rejoice at the welcome clarity with which the new ABoC has spoken, so unlike the diplomatic doublespeak so characteristic of his predecessor.

QUO VADIS?  Where will Peter go now?  I certainly don’t know, but I do care, passionately, and like millions around the world, inside and outside the Roman fold, I’ll be praying that the Cardinals make another fantastic choice, like the last two pontiffs they selected.  Who knows?  Perhaps a third non-Italian in a row will be elected, and just maybe the first non-European from the Global South.  Now that would be really incredible and historic.  But I wouldn’t put it past the Holy Spirit to pull off such a stunt.

David Handy+

February 11, 11:53 am | [comment link]
2. Dan Crawford wrote:

If the only thing Benedict had done in his pontificate was to write his trilogy on Jesus, it would have have been enought to establish him as one of the great popes.

February 11, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
3. Brian from T19 wrote:

This will be a great opportunity for reform of the Catholic Church.  I pray that the next Pope will ne a good steward of the Faith.

February 11, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
4. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “This will be a great opportunity for reform of the Catholic Church.”

I agree—Benedict didn’t get to finish everything he began.  So much still left to do for someone similar to Benedict.

February 11, 11:09 pm | [comment link]
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