Bishop Richard Malone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland issued a statement Monday about the pope’s resignation announcement.

“When I met with the pope in November 2011 at the Vatican, he did seem rather frail,” Malone said. “I wish to express my gratitude for his faithful ministry as Successor of St. Peter, his life of scholarship and his faithful leadership of the Catholic Church. One of the hallmarks of Pope Benedict XVI is his humility and pastoral concern in putting the good of the Church first in his discernment. I cherish the pectoral cross he gave to me and other bishops who met with him during our Ad Limina visit.

“During his nearly eight year papacy, we have been witness to his keen intellect through his marvelous encyclicals: God is Love, In Hope We Are Saved and Charity in Truth. His Jesus of Nazareth book series is inspirational.

“I ask all Catholics in the Diocese of Portland to join me in prayer for Pope Benedict XVI, giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for the pope’s lifetime of dedicated, selfless service to the Church.”

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