July 7, 2015


Local

City archbishop calls Pope's resignation 'very courageous'

AT first, the Archbishop of Winnipeg thought the early-morning phone call Monday was a prank.

"I thought it was a joke," said James Weisgerber. "I thought it was April Fool's."

Cardinal  Marc Ouellet

CP

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

However, news of Pope Benedict's sudden resignation swept the globe Monday morning, and Weisgerber said the enormity of Benedict's decision took hold -- including the Pope's 85 years and his declining health. "It's a job with unbelievable and relentless pressures," Weisgerber noted. "There must be immense stress."

Weisgerber, who had met Benedict on several occasions, called the Pope's surprise announcement "very courageous."

"It is quite unprecedented and precedent-setting," he noted.

"It is something that has not happened for so many years. That function is for life."

Asked about Benedict's legacy, Weisgerber said the Pope "has convinced some people that faith and reason are friends. There's such a thing around the world that faith is irrational. It's anything but."

Christopher Adams, rector of St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba, said the Catholic community in Winnipeg "would be very interested" to see if the next pope becomes the first to be elected from outside of Europe.

In fact, Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been listed by two British betting houses as No. 2 in the early running to replace Benedict.

Ouellet, who participated in the conclave that led to Benedict's papal election in 2005, has also served as prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Weisberger said of Ouellet's name being put forward: "I would give credence to that. He spent 25 years in Latin America. He's fluent in English, French and Spanish.

"At this level, it's a political thing. People are looking for strengths and weaknesses. The ability to communicate is very important."

randy.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 12, 2013 A4

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Scroll down to load more

Top