Archbishop of Liverpool on Pope’s Decision to Resign

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Statement issued by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, on the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

During his visit to this country in 2010 Pope Benedict XVI clearly appreciated the gift of God of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Two phrases from Blessed John Henry Newman’s hymn ‘Praise to the Holiest’ capture for me the Cardinal and then the Pope whom I have been blessed to know: ‘the loving wisdom of our God’ and ’the wisest love’.

Pope Benedict broke open for us, especially during his visit to our country, the wisdom above all given to us in the Word of God and to that Word of God a word of love for us. He has been a herald with only one concern; that in the words of John the Baptist: ‘the Lord must increase and I must decrease’.

Therefore in the deepest sense it is no surprise that such a disciple of the Lord, when he discerns that the resources of body and mind are inadequate to fulfil the mission entrusted to him, comes to the clear humble and selfless decision to resign.