|Catholic publishers react to pope’s resignation|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Monday, 11 February 2013 10:53 AM EST|
Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign at the end of the month after eight years leading the Roman Catholic Church.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the pope told cardinals gathered for a meeting to approve the canonization of new saints.
Elected in April 2005, Pope Benedict is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII did so in 1415.
Pope Benedict said he was making his decision "with full freedom” and that his resignation would be effective Feb. 28. The dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, will now make preparations for a conclave to elect a new pope.
Upon his resignation, the pope will dedicate his time to prayer and reflection, and will likely continue his writing, a Vatican spokesman said.
Daniel Kroger, Franciscan Media CEO and publisher, didn’t expect a major impact on what Catholic publishers publish.
“The obvious thing is that the resignation will create a window of opportunity for the Catholic press to explain that any pope may resign,” Kroger said. “In Benedict’s case, he seems to be following his own realization that he cannot function adequately to handle the Petrine ministry due to his failing health.”
Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press, one of Pope Benedict’s main publishers, said: “I expect the news will not hurt Catholic publishing. If anything, people will continue to be interested in Pope Benedict's writings, as they are John Paul II's. But we'll have a new pope, with writings of his own. That will increase interest in Catholic publishing.”
“Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, is a gifted, thoughtful pastoral and academic thinker,” said Therese Brown, executive director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. “His writing has influenced the way many people understand and relate to Jesus Christ through his powerful, multi-volume work on our Lord. His pastoral writings as the shepherd of the Catholic Church have drawn the attention of many who might otherwise not have listened or heard the Good News. The work that the Holy Father began long before he was elevated to the papacy has continued through these years, and we would expect him to keep on writing and publishing as long as he is able.”