Statement on the Vacancy of the See of St. Peter by Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Today is a historic day in the life of the Catholic Church. For the first time in centuries, the “seat” of St. Peter is vacant because the Pope has resigned his office.
This is a beautiful spiritual moment for all of us in the Church — a time for prayer, sacrifice and worship.
We are praying for the Pontiff Emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, as he makes this transition to what he has called the last leg of his pilgrimage on earth. I continue to be touched by his witness in these final days of his papacy. He is still teaching us the meaning of following Jesus Christ.
By his example, Pope Benedict is showing us that the Church belongs to God and that all of us, no matter how important our ministries, are his servants. We are here to serve the good of his Church and the Church’s mission of love for the world.
In this spiritual moment, we intensify our prayers for the Church, in union with the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church.
We pray with confidence because we know the Lord is with us. In the conclave that is about to begin, the Holy Spirit is the guide and the Cardinals are the instruments. Together they will study the “signs of the times” — both in the Church and in the world. And together they will choose the new Pope that God wants for his Church.