Following the announcement of the resignation of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, COMECE President Cardinal Marx issued the following statement:
‘Today, Pope Benedict XVI has announced his intention to resign on 28 February next. As COMECE President, this decision fills me with great respect but also with huge regret. Benedict XVI has been leading the world Church for eight years with immense dedication and shaped her with his clear theology in a crucial way. His theological thinking, always bringing together Faith and Reason, Church and Politics, has earmarked his groundbreaking theological and philosophical Speeches in Westminster Hall in London, in the German Bundestag as well as in Washington.
He has always been deeply preoccupied by the danger of Europe forgetting its Christian roots and eventually loosing its soul. Europe, and the West as a whole, cannot be imagined without the contribution of Christianity. This contribution cannot only consist in criticising developments in our societies and depicting the future in dark colours. It must certainly always be our prophetic task. But more than that, it involves announcing the universal message of the Gospel, which is a message of hope, in the concrete situation of Europe.
We are grateful for his action full of blessings as Head of the Catholic Church as we look back to our many precious meetings with him during the time of his pontificate. We intend to remain inspired by the significant theology of Pope Benedict XVI for the future of our Church. We, as COMECE Bishops are with him in our prayers. In his retirement, we will remain in spiritual communion with him.“