Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

February 12, 2013

Claremore priest offers insights on Pope’s resignation

CLAREMORE — With Monday’s announcement from Pope Benedict XVI that he would be resigning as of Feb. 28, members within and outside of the Catholic faith may have been asking “What’s next?” 

Perhaps fewer Rogers County residents have been watching  news from the Vatican with a keener interest than Father Paul Eichoff with St. Cecilia Catholic Church of Claremore.
As history unfolds in Rome, Father Eichoff speculates about their significance for the Catholic church and for himself as a member of the faith.
“First of all, I think it (Pope Benedict’s announcement he will retire) came as something of a surprise to all of us,” said Father Eichoff. “Like everyone else, I heard about it on the radio and later the television — it was something which has happened before (in the church), but not for a long time — it was nothing that any of us had experienced in our lifetimes.
“For myself and my church, our life continues — we begin Ash Wednesday this week and deliberation of Lent,” he continued. “The church will be praying for guidance for the cardinal’s selection of a new papal, and for Pope Benedict as he prepares for retirement.”
As a pastor, Father Eichoff said he’s “very proud” of Pope Benedict’s strength to announce his plans to step down.
“To say one is no longer able to bear the burden of the office requires a great deal of courage — I’m confident that the Holy Spirit will guide the selection of a new papal for the church,” he said. “At the same time, the style of John Paul II was different (than that of Benedict XVI) in that we saw him publicly carrying the burden of his office through his illness, almost right to the very end. 
“In this way, I feel that John Paul showed us all how life — even life in extreme frailty and weakness — has value,” he said. 

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