Cardinal Dolan Reacts to the Pope’s Resignation

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Archbishop of New York cardinal Timothy Dolan attends a canonization ceremony held by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012 in Vatican City.

Pope Benedict XVI stepped down today in an announcement that surprised the Catholic world. There is no modern precedent for a papal resignation–the last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. Pope “B16,” as he is affectionately called, cited his advanced age and health concerns as reason for his departure. “[T]he new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is,” Benedict said in his resignation statement. But because he is still living, it remains to be seen whether or not he will have any influence in who his successor will be.

Reaction to the Pope’s announcement in the United States is only just beginning. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, leader of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, issued this initial statement moments after learning of His Holiness’s resignation:

Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan

The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.

Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, Spain and Brazil.

He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.

He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.

He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.

Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world.

47 comments
DespotDahl
DespotDahl

@martinsaldin Fin nyhetsvärdering där. "Kardinal skriver smörigt hyllningstal till avgående påve". STOPPA PRESSARNA!

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

No worry.  Cardinal Dolan will be at the breach, insuring that medieval values will be preserved.  

JeromeElam
JeromeElam

@TIME @TIMEPolitics Magdalene Laundries in Buffalo NY:An American survivor's interview(Exclusive): http://t.co/g8gDdsLp via @WTCommunities

JeromeElam
JeromeElam

@TIME @TIMEPolitics Magdalene Laundries in Buffalo NY:An American survivor's interview (Exclusive): http://t.co/g8gDdsLp via @wtcommunities

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Where's the part about Pope Benedict insisting that the use of condoms in Africa would spread AIDS?

GuidoKrieger
GuidoKrieger

@TIME @timepolitics Reading comments of articles is like eating junkfood. It ends in diarrhoe.

TMD_ERA
TMD_ERA

“@TIME: Cardinal Dolan reacts to the Pope’s resignation | http://t.co/k8G6hhjf (via @TIMEPolitics)” we have the same name/initials #tmdera

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

You know the last time this happened was due to a "civil war" within the church with the sitting Pope abdicating to avoid it.  Is this the first time someone's done it because they don't feel like continuing?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

So why did Ratzinger accept the papacy to begin with?  Knowing full well that it's a lifetime job, why wasn't he "too old" eight years ago as opposed to being so today?  Not that I'm complaining really; he's been a pretty terrible Pope.

Signalier
Signalier

He is a Nazi. Has done jack. How can you elect a Nazi to be a Pope? This is nuts

sacredh
sacredh

The battle for the throne begins. Don't bring a cross to a knife fight.

MrObvious
MrObvious

My only reaction is that I couldn't care less what a misogynist like Dolan says.

He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.

Here's a good reason why. I really don't care for hypocrites that don't live the way they preach.

Tero
Tero

"Pope “B16,” as he is affectionately called"

Affectionately? By whom? Satan? Jerry Sandusky?

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

If they elect Pope Murray O'Hair I, Sacred will be canonized.  Considering her fate (at least on this side, anyway) I don't know if that would necessarily be a good thing for him. 

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Q: What do you call a Pope who resigns? 

A: Ex-Benedict.

*h/t user: Smurch @ reddit.com 

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

I think the minimum age for the head of the Mormon church is 80.  Wonder if Catholics think the same way. 

sacredh
sacredh

Pope: A word of advice to the next Pope. You have to jiggle the handle on the toilet after you flush or else the water just keeps running.

gysgt213
gysgt213

Pope on a rope. Father Guido Sarducci will release a comment later today.

roknsteve
roknsteve

So is he gonna move to South America with the rest of the former Nazi's? 

bobell
bobell

I dunno about you, but the current Catholic Church reminds me of the current Republican Party, and vice versa.  Okay, we won't get a Pope Mitt, but the Pope we do get is almost certainly going to be so conservative as to be out of step with most of the world.

As for Benedict, I take him at his word that at 85 he's no longer up to the job.  But I do have to wonder whether he was really ever up to the job.  I certainly don't look for much from his successor.

And you'd think Dolan could have saved himself a shred of dignity. I know it's the Catholic Church and all that, but is undiluted sycophancy really what their parishioners are looking for.

bobell
bobell

I've been wondering about that.  A Catholic friend of mine says there have been rumors for years that before they elected someone that old the Cardinals exacted a promise that he would retire if he couldn't do the job any more.  Like most such remors, it's unverified.

My guess is that he couldn't face the sequester -- which, you'll note, is effective on the same day as his resignation.

sacredh
sacredh

Maybe he met someone and wants to settle down.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

SOW, Paterno's family tried to call that urine found on JoePa'sr popcorn butter.  He'll never be thought of in the way they intended ever again.  'Shouldn't have gone there.

sacredh
sacredh

Have the republicans nominated Huckabee yet? If it's Santorum over Rubio the party may split.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@kbanginmotown Someone on the BBC said this morning, He was soon to be Pope Nomore.

AfGuy
AfGuy

@nflfoghorn 

So... do the Mormons check to make sure they already have one foot in the grave BEFORE accepting them in the role of leader?

sacredh
sacredh

I don't think that the church ever wants another John Paul II that hangs around forever and getts that kind of power and influence.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@bobell He did manage to appoint a lot of new Cardinals who are as conservative as he is, in order to ensure they will appoint the next one to keep the church in the 19th century.

sacredh
sacredh

That abstinence thing would kill me. I get in a bad mood if I go more than a couple of days without.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

The Crazies vs. the Half-Crazies.  Hasn't it split already? 

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Dude wanted to quit but the church wouldn't let him.  That's crazy.  Good for B16 to know when he's licked...at least physically.

mjshep
mjshep

@Ivy_B @bobell The Church has a ways to go before it gets as far as the 19th century. 

AfGuy
AfGuy

@sacredh 

But I think we can all say you ARE a GOOD bit of a character...

sacredh
sacredh

It takes character to admit that you're no longer able to do your job and step down. Last spring I had a nagging shoulder injury that just wouldn't go away.  It limited what I could do at work (no heavy lifting and I had some trouble climbing the ladders). I asked for a retirement readout because I got frustrated and thought seriously about hanging it up. The boss talked me out of it and told me that when I took that promotion that I didn't HAVE to do that stuff anymore, that I could tell somebody else to do those jobs. I hated the very idea of asking somebody to do something that I was used to doing myself. It feels a good bit better now and I can do those things myself now, but if there hadn't been some improvement, I'd be retired now.

.

I'm not saying I have a good bit of character, but I'm glad I didn't retire.