An article on today's issue of the local newspaper The Shelby Star includes quotes from me and area clergy responding to yesterday's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will retire at the end of the month. Here's an excerpt from the beginning of the story:
Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for the world's 1 billion Catholics.
Clergy in Cleveland County reacted to the news with thoughts about the 85-year-old pope and prayers for him and the Catholic Church.
“I admire Pope Benedict for knowing that he needs to retire and doing so,” said Rev. Dr. Valori M. Sherer, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Shelby.
Dr. Steve Harmon of Gardner-Webb University met Benedict in 2007 at a meeting in Rome between the Baptist World Alliance and the Roman Catholic Church.
"I came away with the sense he was a gracious, kind and caring person," Harmon said.... (read the rest of the article at The Shelby Star)