Several evangelical Christian leaders gave high praise to Pope Benedict XVI for his advocacy for the dignity of human life after hearing about his plans to resign Monday. They chose to focus on common biblical ground shared with some of the Pontiff's beliefs rather than dwell on the doctrinal differences between Catholicism and the Protestant faith.
"As a Baptist Christian, I disagree with Rome on many things, of course, and some of those things relate to the nature of the Petrine ministry, the relationship of the Bishop of Rome to the rest of the church, the merging of civil and ecclesial power, and so on," Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a column. "It might surprise previous generations of Protestants, though, that one of the primary emphases of the Vatican in the last generation has been on the dignity and liberty of the human person."
Moore stated that the Pope "has constantly spoken for those whose lives are seen as a burden to society: the baby with Down syndrome, the woman with advanced Alzheimer's, the child starving in the desert, the prisoner being tortured. "These lives aren't things, he has said, but images of God, and for them we will give an account." more >>
World-famous atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins took to Twitter on Monday to comment on Pope Benedict XVI's decision to retire as head of the Roman Catholic Church, mocking the pontiff for a "wasted life" and no sex.
"I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests. Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex," Dawkins wrote on his Twitter page. The God Delusion author was referring to the life of celibacy that Catholic priests are required to take when choosing the path of ministry.
Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday morning that he will be stepping down from his position on Feb. 28, citing his "advanced age" for his decision. The 85-year-old pontiff will become the first pope in over 600 years to retire. more >>
With Pope Benedict XVI's shocking resignation this morning, evangelical Christians might be tempted to see this the way a college football fan might view the departure of his rival team's head coach. But the global stakes are much, much higher. As Pope Benedict steps down, I think it's important for us to recognize the legacy of the last two bishops of Rome that we ought to honor and conserve: an emphasis on human dignity.
As a Baptist Christian, I disagree with Rome on many things, of course, and some of those things relate to the nature of the Petrine ministry, the relationship of the Bishop of Rome to the rest of the church, the merging of civil and ecclesial power, and so on. It might surprise previous generations of Protestants, though, that one of the primary emphases of the Vatican in the last generation has been on the dignity and liberty of the human person.
When the world was threatened by Soviet totalitarianism, Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, communicated a vision of human flourishing and freedom that sparked resistance movements in his native Poland, throughout occupied Eastern Europe, and to the rest of the world. Benedict, then a cardinal, worked internally to root out Marxist mash-ups with Catholicism in the so-called "liberation theology" movements of Latin America and elsewhere. more >>
Several LGBT Catholic groups are calling for a new gay-friendly pope following news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
"We are praying, too, for LGBT Catholics and their families and friends, whose lives were made more difficult living under Benedict's reign both as pontiff and as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), where he served previously. For the last three decades, Benedict has been one of the main architect's of the Vatican's policies against LGBT people," New Ways Ministry said in a statement. New Ways is an LGBT rights ministry that seeks to "build bridges" between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church.
The group praised Benedict XVI for his dedication to the church and his intellectual life, but said that they are praying for a new pope that will "combine his intelligence with true and deep pastoral concern for the lives of the people of the world." more >>
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was as "startled and as anxious" as everyone else at the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation Monday morning.
"I find myself eager for some news, I find myself itching to read the statement in Latin that the Holy Father made, and I find myself kind of somber," Dolan said in a Today Show interview, revealing that at first, before the news was confirmed, he believed it was only a rumor.
On Monday morning, the 85-year-old pontiff said that he will step down as head of the Roman Catholic Church on Feb. 28 due to his "advanced age" which prevents him from adequately fulfilling his duties in the ministry. more >>
Pope Benedict XVI, who has served as head of the Roman Catholic Church since 2005, has announced that he will be stepping down.
In a statement released Monday morning, the 85-year-old Pontiff cited "advanced age" as the reason for his resignation, which will be effective at the end of the month.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," said the Pope. more >>