Grand Rapids Bishop Says Pope Was Slowing Down

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a credit to the man who was becoming more infirm as he got older, said Bishop Walter Hurley of the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

“He needs a bit of help to get up and down,” said Hurley, who first met the pontiff before he was elected pope. Benedict’s schedule was changing from one containing many short meetings to fewer but longer meetings. “He was beginning to slow down,” the bishop said.

As for the resignation, “Church law has always provided for that possibility,” Hurley said. He noted that it will be interesting have a reigning pope and a retired one at the same time.

Bishop Hurley described Benedict XVI as a “warm, caring person” and “a sensitive man.”

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