Local priest weighs in on Pope’s resignation
Father Robert Gould, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton, was as surprised as many others around the world when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Feb. 11. However, in looking back, he sees signs it was coming.
Benedict is a serious diabetic, Gould said. And, he thinks, the pope's doctors told him to stop flying across the oceans, instructions which he ignored.
It was a heroic decision, said Gould. And, in light of his fatigue and health concerns, it took humility to make.
Pope Benedict XVI tried to build a bridge from Catholicism to the world, said Gould, and to embrace Orthodoxy. He reached out to Muslims, Anglicans, unchurched Catholics, Jews and the Chinese. In this, he emphasized evangelization. "He wants to take the faith into the streets," said Gould.
Gould opined about the qualities the next pope will possess.
"The next pope will have insight into Islam in the east and the bio-ethical world of the west," said Gould. He referred to the debate over gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research and euthanasia in the western world.
"It's going to be exciting," said Gould.
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