Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Statement from Archbishop Vincent Nichols


FORTIS UT MORS DILECTIO

Statement from Archbishop Vincent Nichols
H.E. Archbishop Vincent Nichols
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales


Pope Benedict’s announcement today has shocked and surprised everyone.  Yet, on reflection, I am sure that many will recognise it to be a decision of great courage and characteristic clarity of mind and action.

The Holy Father recognises the challenges facing the Church and that “strength of mind and body are necessary” for his tasks of governing the Church and proclaiming the Gospel.


I salute his courage and his decision.

I ask people of faith to keep Pope Benedict in their prayers.  We Catholics will do so, with great affection and the highest esteem for his ministry as our Holy Father remembering with joy his Visit to the United Kingdom in 2010.  Pray, too, for the Church and all the steps that must take place in the next weeks.  We entrust ourselves to the loving Providence of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

11 February 2013

Letter to the Holy Father from Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has written to Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of the Bishops to thank him for his Apostolic Ministry as Supreme Pontiff, joyfully remembering his Visit to the UK in 2010, and saluting his courage and integrity at stepping down from the See of Peter.


Most Holy Father

On behalf of the Catholics of England and Wales, and expressing sentiments shared by many others, I write to offer you, at this historic moment, our loving affection and prayers.

We recognise the courage and integrity of your decision to step down from the See of St Peter. We assure you of our support, while very conscious of our profound sense of loss.

We thank you, Holy Father, for all your years of service to the Church, and most of all for the seven years of your Apostolic Ministry as Supreme Pontiff. We have treasured your loving care as Pope and your wonderful teaching. Through your ministry many have grown in love of our faith and, most crucially, in their relationship with Our Lord.

We remember with joy and exhilaration your Visit to the United Kingdom in 2010 when you thrilled us with your presence and spoke the message of the Gospel to the hearts of so many.
We promise you our prayers for the years ahead. May God bless you with peace and the gift of consoling prayer. We know that you will continue, faithfully, your lifelong vocation of love of God and His Church and of prayer for us all.



Yours devotedly in the Lord Jesus Christ,


+ Vincent Nichols
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

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