The leader of the Catholic world, Pope Benedict XVI, announced Monday his plans to resign from the papal office on Feb. 28, according to Vatican Today.
The 85-year-old pope said in a statement that he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties. He will become the first pope to resign in 600 years.
Bishop Earl Boyea of the Archdiocese of Lansing, which includes the three Catholic churches located in the Brighton area, released a statement saying the pope has been a wonderful teacher, shepherd and man of prayer.
"The clearest sign of his care for the Church is this most recent action: his decision to resign the papacy," Boyea said. "His sense that he can no longer be the effective missionary and evangelist has led him, in deep love, to hand this great task given him by Jesus Christ to another. On this day of Our Lady of Lourdes when we are asked to be very mindful of the sick, we offer prayers for our Holy Father’s good health and many years. We also pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that God’s will may be done in the choice of Benedict’s successor."
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