“Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he is resigning the papacy at the end of the month brought surprise to the Church and to the world.
“When I think of Pope Benedict, the words of St. Paul come to mind: ‘Whatever you do, do with your whole heart. Do it for the Lord’ (Colossians 3:23).
“The Holy Father has distinguished himself by his transparent holiness, unswerving faith and fervent prayer. His brilliant intellect, prolific writings, enlightened leadership and tireless service have shown a tenacious fidelity to God and to the Church.
“The words of Jesus Himself also fittingly apply to this occasion: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25: 21).”
Bishop Robert W. Muench, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge,
in an issued statement