SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell says that he can understand Pope Benedict XVI 's decision to leave his position as leader of the Catholic Church.
In a news conference in Springfield on Monday, McDonnell read Benedict's complete statement, in which the Pontiff said that he felt that he needed to be of fit mind and body to continue in his work, and that he was becoming too ill to continue.
"I can understand that the Pope would feel the need for energy, strength, and the ability to carry on all the work that he has. And I myself, that I don't have the acuity, the sharpness that I once had, I don't have the energy I once had, and I'm 10 years younger than he is. So, I can understand very much why he would do this," McDonnell said.
The Bishop himself is on his way to retirement. In December, he submitted his resignation as required under Church law (bishops must resign after they reach their 75h birthday.) He said that he didn't think that Benedict's resignation would have an effect on the timeliness of the processing of his resignation.
McDonnell says that Benedict will be remembered as a great theologian and teacher. He said the the Pope has always been someone who has the ability to think things through, and put them into words that people could easily understand.