Archbishop of Baltimore says action speaks to pope's humanity

BALTIMORE - Installed by Pope Benedict XVI as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori recently had an audience with the pontiff and he says he saw no signs of his imminent retirement..

"When I got to him, he spoke once again about Baltimore and so the Holy Father's mental alertness and acuity certainly seemed pretty wonderful to me."

While the last pope to resign did so 600 years ago, the archbishop says Benedict may be renouncing the Roman pontiff, but he will devote the rest of his life to prayer and reflection.

He adds the pope's decision speaks volumes to his humanity.

"This is a solemn occasion for us, of course, but I hope we would just recognize the humanity of this pope who recognized that the stamina required for this role wasn't his any longer and he really announced this to the whole world.  That takes a marvelous and holy and strong person to do this.  So I'd just like to recognize that at this moment."
In a statement, Archbishop Lori's predecessor, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, called the pope's announcement sad news not only for Catholics, but for people of all faiths throughout the world.

O'Brien is one of the 118 cardinals that are getting ready to convene in conclave next month to select the next pope.

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