Pope Benedict Praised by Montville Church Leader
Pope's understanding of Catholic church 'is very deep and prayerful,' the Rev. Mark Olenowski said.
As the Vatican announced Monday Pope Benedict XVI will be resigning from his leadership position on Feb. 28, St. Pius X Church's religious leader, the Rev. Mark Olenowski, began to reflect on his papal legacy, the meaning of his resignation and the effect new leadership could have on the Montville church and school.
The pope's announcement came after he said he no longer has the strength to continue to effectively lead all the world's Roman Catholics due to his age. The New York Times reported that Benedict is the first pope to resign in six centuries and that he has served less than eight years.
"We all are very impressed with his humility to step down from such a prestigious position of leadership from the church for the good of the church," Olenowski said.
Olenowski also said he found Benedict's understanding of the church and the world's constituents to be "very deep and prayerful." But as Olenowski praised the pope, he also expressed concern over his health and well-being.
"We're not quite sure of the extenuating circumstances of his health — that seems to be the primary and paramount reason for [his resignation]," Olenowsi said.
St. Pius, like all Catholic churches, follows the vision and leadership of the pope in service. The teachings and decisions of the pope are carried down from the pope and the Vatican to local churches.
"We keep trying to make refinements and improvements with our faith and the way we serve people and God," Olenowski said. "We keep striving to refine the process."
While Olenowski said he and his parishioners have faith in the Magisterium, or teaching body of the church, to make sound decisions, he said Catholics work together globally and as one unified group to preserve and live in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
"Under new leadership, we'll have to wait and see how that unravels," he said.
It could take time until a new pope is in place, Olenowski said. A majority of votes from church leadership is needed for the person to be chosen.
"It usually is a very careful and thorough process," Olenowski said.
What do you think the pope's legacy will be? Tell us in the comments.