Statement of CUF President Mike Sullivan on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

As the mission of Catholics United for the Faith focuses on the teachings of the Church, we’ve come to rely on Pope Benedict XVI for his ability to express complex truths in simple and beautiful language. And so it is with both sadness and yet profound gratitude that Catholics United for the Faith acknowledges the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

This act of humility and integrity, prompted undoubtedly by much prayer and discernment, is a sterling example of his dedicated leadership and love for the Church.

We join with Catholics around the world in thanking Pope Benedict for his great service to the Church as our Holy Father these past eight years.

I ask all members of Catholics United for the Faith to join me in praying earnestly for Pope Benedict.

We believe that the Holy Father made his decision with guidance from the Holy Spirit, that same Spirit who will guide the elector-Cardinals in selecting the next Pope. We have hope that God the Father will send us the Shepherd who is best for the Church at this time.

Together let us pray that the Christian faithful take advantage of this opportunity to trust in God’s providence, and for the cardinals who have the important task of choosing his successor. We are confident that the Holy Spirit will guide their decision.

—Mike Sullivan, President, Catholics United for the Faith

Full Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Declaration”

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects.  And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.