Following the announcement on Monday that Pope Benedict XVI plans to resign from the office on Feb. 28, two church leaders in Bristol and Warren offered their thoughts on the news.
The Rev. Henry P. Zinno Jr., pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Bristol, and Rev. Peter J. Gower, pastor of St. Mary of the Bay in Warren, explained in email messages that they expect the next Pope to maintain the continuity of the Church and lead the world's one billion Catholics.
"I think it would be good to hear from the new Holy Father his desire to continue to lead the Church according to the commands of God and the teachings of Christ," Rev. Zinno wrote.
Rev. Gower credited Benedict with "spread[ing] the teachings of Jesus Christ as a simple man of prayer as he called upon the entire world to love one another and be renewed in holiness through the power of the Word of God, Jesus Christ, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit — our world needs a leader like Benedict who will help the people of the world remember God and in their hearts and minds live their lives serving Him our Creator."
Added Rev. Zinno: "In this world that seems to go from crisis to crisis, [Benedict] has provided a spiritual, intellectual, and moral leadership that has been an anchor for the Church in these rough waters that we traverse upon. He will be greatly missed for his calm demeanor and his gentle charm."