The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas said he admired Pope Benedict XVI's courage following news of the pontiff's resignation.
"We are grateful to Pope Benedict for his Papal Ministry and the special gifts he extended as Pope in the depth of faith and love he had for Christ and His Church," Bishop Joseph A. Pepe said in a statement Monday. "His true gift is the vitality and clarity he gave to his teaching - Jesus was always a living person that he encountered in his life and he extended that vision and faith experience to all he met and instructed in his ministry as priest, cardinal and Pope."
Pepe continued, "I am sure this was not an easy answer to arrive at and we as a Catholic Community pray for his continued health and ministry in prayer and reflection in the coming years."
The pope announced his resignation from the Vatican post effective Feb. 28. The Diocese of Las Vegas noted that, unlike the most recent papal elections, there would be no eight-day waiting period since the election was not the result of a death.
The Diocese anticipates the College of Cardinals conclave to elect the next pope to be held in mid-March.
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