Upon hearing the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI that he intends to resign as head of the Roman Catholic Church on February 28, 2013, leaders in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) issued the following statement:
“Our prayers and good wishes go out to our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters as we received the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation. May God grant wisdom and vision to those charged with choosing his successor. We pray that God continues to work through this process to bring the Church Universal to a deeper, more visible unity among all Christians, and that God will bless the life of Pope Benedict in this time of transition.”
The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President, and the Rev. Dr. Robert K. Welsh, president of the Council on Christian Unity and ecumenical officer, also expressed their deep appreciation for Benedict’s strong commitment to the search for the unity of the church and, specifically, to the international dialogue between Disciples of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church.