Bishop David Malloy says Pope Benedict XVI will leave a lasting imprint for his "dedication and fidelity to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church." Malloy spoke to reporters Monday afternoon after the Pope's early morning announcement that he will resign.
Malloy says area Catholics should not view the decision for the next Pope as only important in Rome. He encourages local parishioners to pray about the next church leader in the weeks leading up to a decision. Malloy says he would like the next Catholic leader to have strong speaking skills, a life of prayer, fidelity to the Church's teachings, and spirituality. He did not say whether or not he believes the next Pope should come from a particular part of the world.
Malloy says it will be interesting to see if a resignation like Benedict XVI's will be a recurring experience for future leaders. While he says he respects Benedict XVI's decision, he noted that there was a certain beauty in the message of watching previous Pope John Paul II serve out his final years in the public eye.
Pope Benedict's reign over the Church was not without controversy. In 2008, he traveled to the U.S. to address clerical sex abuse...saying he was deeply ashamed.