Bishop Provost comments on Pope Benedict's resignation

The following is a statement from Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, on this morning's announcement of the upcoming Feb. 28 resignation from the Papacy by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

"Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, today has announced formally in Rome his intention to renounce the commission of ministry as the Bishop of Rome effective February 28, 2013. While this decision will catch many by surprise and is indeed rare in the 2000 year history of the Catholic Church, Canon Law allows for the possibility (Canon 332 §2). There are also precedents. According to many historians, at least five popes have resigned the papacy—St. Pontian 235, Benedict IX 1045, Gregory VI 1046, Celestine V 1294, and Gregory XII 1415."

With gratitude to our Heavenly Father, we recall the almost eight years of Pope Benedict XVI’s service to the Church as Pope. Even prior to his election as Bishop of Rome, his extraordinary scholarship, spiritual depth, and strong leadership were an inspiration to many and to me personally. As Bishop of Rome, he spoke and wrote eloquently on the faith and the need for spiritual renewal. His apostolic journeys reached out to troubled areas of the world, and he diligently worked for unity amongst Christians and within the Church. We all assure him of our prayers and support.