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Cardinal Brady notes 'significant' date of Pope's retirement news

February 11 is the World Day of the Sick, Brady notes, asking for prayers for those responsible for choosing his successor.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE ONLY IRISHMAN with a vote in choosing the next Pope has asked Catholics to pray for those responsible for picking the Catholic Church’s next supreme pontiff.

Cardinal Seán Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh, is one of two Irish cardinals – but the other, former Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell, is discounted from casting a vote in the elections to choose the next pope on the grounds of his age.

Brady said this evening that while news of Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement was “a shock”, he was certain that the outgoing pontiff had deliberately chosen February 11 – the World Day of the Sick, and the feast of Our Lady of Loures – as the date on which he announced his retirement.

“Our Lady always points us to her Son,” Brady said. “In his statement today Pope Benedict pointed us to Christ as the Supreme Pastor of the Church”.

“His announcement today echoes his words on the day he was elected Pope. Then he described himself as a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. With typical humility, courage and love for the Church he has clearly come to the view that the Lord now wants him to use his remaining physical and spiritual energies by serving the Church in prayer,” Brady said.

I think this is a profound act of humility, a conscientious and responsible decision to hand over the ministry of the successor of Saint Peter in a time of great challenge for the Church and for faith in the modern world.

Brady sought prayers for both the retiring pontiff, thanking him for his “generous service of the Universal Church”, and asked Catholics to pray “for those who will have responsibility for electing his successor.”

Read: Pope Benedict resigns, cites ‘advanced age’ and deteriorating health

Archbishop Martin: It’s amazing the pope had continued until now

Reaction: Incredulity, shock and humility – The world reacts to Pope Benedict’s resignation

Explainers: Do popes resign? and How is a new Pope chosen?

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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