Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

February 11, 2013

UPDATED: Pope Benedict XVI to resign, citing age and waning energy

(Continued)

LONDON —

Benedict's decision to step down "says to me he is a very humble and honest person," Wuerl added. "His love for the church is such that he has concluded it would be better not to try to lead this huge flock without the full strength of all of his energies."

Catholics attending 7 a.m. Mass at St. Matthews Cathedral in downtown Washington agreed. "If he's feeling weak or frail, well, [retiring] is such a loving and caring decision on his part," said Tara Shaughnessy, 23, of the District.

During his eight-year tenure, Benedict has tried to guide the church through troubling sexual abuse and financial scandals while seeking to reinforce conservative doctrine among the global ranks of more than 1 billion faithful.

Liberal Catholics bemoaned his promotion of conservative bishops who believe the church will hold together best if its teachings are communicated as eternal and unchanging. They bristled at a church crackdown on the largest group of U.S. nuns after the nuns wrote and lectured about homosexuality and contraception.

Traditional Catholics, however, have celebrated Benedict's focus on orthodoxy.

"If you don't sell full-throttle Catholicism, people are not going to buy it. Everyone knows the whole package is more compelling and interesting than some sort of Catholic hors d'oeuvres that leave you hungry," said George Weigel, who has written multiple books on the church and the pope.

Quiet and soft-spoken, especially in comparison to his gregarious predecessor, Pope John Paul II, Benedict nevertheless maintained a vigorous travel and speaking schedule, visiting Lebanon as recently as September and, in December, launching the first ever papal Twitter account. He was 78 when he was elected pope in 2005, the oldest person chosen to head the church since the 18th century.

Text Only
National and World
Local News
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban
Sister Newspapers' News