"It is with absolute surprise and a twinge of sadness that we heard the news of the forthcoming resignation of our beloved Holy Father. Benedict XVI is a profoundly spiritual and holy man, nourished by an unshakable faith and brilliant theological acumen."
"He is courageous, yet
gentle; a brilliant academic, yet so humble, with solid ethical and spiritual
grounding," said Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), who spoke to AsiaNews about the announcement of Benedict XVI's resignation.
"The reasons our Holy Father gives," the prelate said, "clearly reflect
the pope's humility and greatness. This is a Kenosis, whereby he strips himself of all powers and authority, out
of love for the Church."
Last night, the cardinal took part in a Mass marking the 50th
anniversary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Health in Valinkanni (Tamil Nadu), a
ceremony attended by Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Congregation of
Evangelisation of peoples, as the pope's special envoy.
"Just last evening, I publicly addressed Cardinal Filoni to convey to
Pope Benedict XVI that all in India were praying for his health, that he may
have the strength and the grace to carry on his Petrine Ministry."
"The Legacy of the Pope is tremendous. He guided the Church with
prophetic insight, tremendous zeal and spiritual and theological grounding. Such
an historic decision to resign is a sign of the immense love the Holy Father has
for the Church. All his actions have been guided by his intense personal prayer
and reflection for the good of Holy Mother Church. India Loves Pope Benedict XVI."