With much realignment – including merging and closing parishes locally – the Catholic Church has taken another hit today, as Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign effective Feb. 28, according to several media outlets.
Fr. Carlos Flor, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Thomas Aquinas churches in Jamaica Plain and St. Mary of the Angels parish in Roxbury, said the Catholic Church is losing a great man.
“Like any other Catholic of the world I am definitely sad for knowing that the Holy Father’s health is so bad that he can not, according to his own words, continue doing his ministry the way the church needs at this point,” he said in an interview with Jamaica Plain Patch. “We lose a fantastic man who has been a great help for these years of transition.”
Though Flor referred to the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, for the local Archdiocese there has been much transition as well. Flor was installed as pastor of the three area churches in September 2012. He commiserates with Benedict’s decision, agreeing that having a congregation so widespread is challenging.
“I totally understand,” Flor said. “It’s a heavy toll personally, physically. It’s a great task.”
Ultimately, the Church will persevere, he said.
“The Church always learns to come out from crisis, and this is a moment of transition again,” he said. “We have to face the election of a new pope. We will do it. We have to do it."