Pope Benedict thanked for his leadership and courage

Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic has today praised the service of Pope Benedict XVI after the Pontiff announced his impending resignation.

Mr Husic said that it showed tremendous leadership and courage to take the extraordinary step of resigning as the spiritual and pastoral leader of the universal Church.

“Pope Benedict has provided the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with strong leadership over the past eight years,” Mr Husic said.

“To arrive at this decision – the first for a Pontiff in almost 600 years, shows the depth of feeling Pope Benedict has for his Church.

“Many Australians will fondly remember the Pope’s visit to this country when he attended World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.

“Australia has in excess of five million Roman Catholics, and the Church runs hundreds of educational institutions, hospitals and aged care facilities, making the choice of the next Pope a critical one.

“I stand in solidarity with Australia’s Catholic faithful as they pray for the election of the new Pope next month.

“I wish Pope Benedict improved health and respite in his retirement from active ministry.”