Monday, February 11, 2013

Church Reform Group Applauds Benedict for "Wise Decision to Resign"

By Brian Roewe

Note: This article was first published February 11, 2012 by The National Catholic Reporter.

FutureChurch, a church reform group based in Ohio, congratulated Pope Benedict XVI in a statement Monday "for his wise decision to resign," saying "it takes courage to recognize when one no longer has the physical strength and health to fulfill the responsibilities of one of the world's most demanding jobs."

“This precedent-setting decision, at least for the modern era, is pointing the Church away from a monarchical model where a leader rules for life,” said Sr. Christine Schenk, executive director of FutureChurch, in a press release. “Pope Benedict is making it clear that papal leadership is an office, and doesn’t belong to any one person. This is good for the Church, and bodes well for the future.”

A member of the organization's board of trustees, Mary Louise Hartman, pointed to past instances where a papacy's final years was filled with "delayed, poor or politicized decisions," and said that the pope's resignation signals he understands that reality "and is taking steps to avoid problems that come with trying to govern when one is in declining health."

FutureChurch has focused its mission on seeking greater participation for all Catholics in the life and leadership of the church. That includes calling for married and celibate priests, opening the diaconate to women, and providing resources and support to parish communities faced with closing churches and parishes.

Related Off-site Links:
Pope's Sudden Resignation Sends Shockwaves Through Church – Philip Pullella (Reuters via Yahoo! News, February 11, 2013).
A Truly Historic Announcement – Colleen Kochivar-Baker (Enlightened Catholicism, February 11, 2013).
Pope Benedict to Resign at the End of the Month – John L. Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter, February 11, 2013).
Pope's Mission to Revive Faith Clouded by Scandal – Nicole Winfield (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, February 11, 2013).
New Ways Ministry on the Resignation of Benedict XVI – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, February 11, 2013).
Gay Catholics Respond to Pope's Impending Resignation – DignityUSA (February 11, 2013).
Let an Inclusive Church Rise! – WATER's Statement on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – Women's Alliance of Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (February 11, 2013).
Voice of the Faithful Prays for Pope & a Renewed Church as Benedict XVI Steps Down – Voice of the Faithful (February 11, 2013).
Call to Action Responds to Pope's Resignation – Call to Action (February 11, 2013).
Catholics United Statement on Pope Benedict XVI’s Announcement of Resignation – Catholics United (February 11, 2013).


  1. I highly doubt that the Pope's motive for retiring is as altruistic as these well meaning progressives thinks it is.

  2. I highly doubt these words were as well meaning as anonymous thinks they are...

  3. Interesting, Anonymous. What do you think the Pope's motive for retiring is?