February 11 WATER’s Statement on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

Let an Inclusive Church Rise!

WATER welcomes the news of the Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and wishes him a peaceful and dignified future.

The Pope’s conscience-based decision reflects an honest assessment of his diminished capacity and an enlightened view of the job. We support freedom of conscience in this and in all things, including reproductive and sexual choices.

The Pope demonstrated by his abdication that change is afoot in the Catholic community. Rather than business as usual in the election of his successor, we take this as an opportunity to develop new forms of participatory leadership reflecting the diversity and maturity of the Catholic community. Let an inclusive church rise!

If substantive structural changes in the church begin to emerge, history will record Pope Benedict XVI with more than an asterisk for having retired. Rather, he will be remembered for ending a period of patriarchal rule and making way for a new era of equality. This is our prayer.