From the Sioux City Catholic Diocese and Bishop R. Walker Nickless:
Monday morning's announcement by His Holiness, Pope Benedict
XVI, of his resignation of the office of Successor of Peter and Bishop of Rome,
shocked and surprised me. Yet I am sure
that God's perfect plan for His Church and the salvation of souls is being
followed, and that "all things work for the good of those who love Him."
Since Pope Benedict named me to be the seventh Bishop of
Sioux City in November 2005, I have had several opportunities to meet with him,
most recently last March, with other Bishops from the United States for an official visit to report on our Dioceses.
I admire our Holy Father greatly for his constant, strong,
and courageous leadership of the Church in these troubled times. He has been the right man at the right time
for a most difficult job in the Church and in the world. His love for the Church, and for the poor, is
always evident in his ministry, and his pastoral example has always inspired me
– as it has so many bishops, priests, religious, and laity – to strive more
fully to imitate the perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to embrace
my vocation with a heart on fire with love.
Along with all the faithful of the Diocese of Sioux City, I
offer the Holy Father my unqualified support and obedience, and I join the
whole Church in praying for him, for the College of Cardinals, and for his
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