Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will be resigning as pope later this month, the first pope to do so in six centuries. Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese Bishop Kevin Rhoades took time Monday to praise Benedict's service to the church.
Bishop Rhoades has met with the pope several times throughout his service to the Catholic Church, and said Benedict was warm, kind, and personally encouraging to him when he was a young bishop.
He said when he met with the pope in more recent years, Benedict was genuinely concerned about Hoosier-specific issues in the Catholic Church.
"What I found interesting was that he asked a lot of questions and asked me questions about the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and to see his interest and concern for each diocese was very good," said Rhoades.
The bishop described Benedict’s resignation as a loss for the Catholic Church, especially in the wake of Bishop John D’arcy’s passing just last week.
Pope Benedict will resign from his duties as pope on February 28th due to what he called his “advanced age” and “diminished strength.”