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GB Catholic Diocese Bishop David Ricken reacts to pope's resignation


ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ) - Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken is reacting the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

In a statement released Monday, Ricken said:

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I was as shocked as everyone else to hear the news that our Holy Father has tendered his resignation from the office of the successor to Peter. He has written about this as a possibility, which we can now say was a preparation for this. This was a courageous decision made by Pope Benedict, and we thank him for his years of service.

The important thing for us to remember is that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide the Church and for all of us to pray for Pope Benedict and for the cardinals who will select a successor.

In the meantime, we continue our mission of proclaiming the Gospel, providing for the sacramental life of the Church, and loving and serving our brothers and sisters. As part of the New Evangelization, this will be a wonderful opportunity for us to discuss our faith with others and to encourage them to once again strengthen their relationship with the Church.”

The 85-year-old pope announced Monday morning that he would step down at the end of February, citing his age.