Bishops around the world are reacting to the startling news that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned.
Early Monday, Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. He stated that his health had deteriorated in the past several months. He stated that he believed the pope needed to be sound in both body and mind to fulfill the duties of the job. His resignation will take effect Feb. 28.
Bishop Tyson of Yakima expressed sadness at the announcement. "I am grateful for Pope Benedict XVI's embrace of the teaching ministry, which is so central to the ministry of the papacy. I also feel a special connection to the Holy Father, having been among the very first bishops named just days after his election in 2005 and then of course his appointment of me as Bishop of Yakima just two years ago."
Cardinal Dolan, Arch bishop of New York stated, "Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict XVI. I am as startled as the rest of you and anxious to find out exactly what's going on."
Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to resign since Pope Celestine V was elected in 1294, resigning five months later.
The College of Cardinals is expected to meet mid-March to choose the new pope.