LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Bishop William Patrick Callahan from the Diocese of La Crosse said he was surprised to hear the news of Pope Benedict XVI resignation.
"Pope Benedict has led the Church in his unflinching leadership in spiritual, intellectual, and world issues. As a teacher and accomplished author he leaves a rich legacy that will be tapped for generations to come.
His resignation, during this Year of Faith, and at the beginning of the season of Lent inspires Catholics around the world with a deep dependency on our reliance on the Lord Jesus as the Light who shines in darkness and leads all people to eternal glory.
Successors to the Ministry of Peter will, thanks largely to the vision of Popes John Paul and Benedict, be considered from the world wide Catholic community. This, as Pope Benedict has shown, truly magnifies the dynamic of social media and worldwide connectivity. The Church is truly a global force announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Pope—and his successor—will continue to unite the world and strengthen that message among us," Bishop Callahan said.
In the meantime, the process of choosing the next pope begins. That raises the question of whether Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former Bishop in the La Crosse Dioceses, would be considered for the post.
Bishop Callahan said the Cardinals will be sequestered to choose the next pope.
"It's their opportunity to pray, reflect and to think about what is necessary for the church and to be moved by the power of the holy spirit who is going to indicate to them who the next pope should be."
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