Seattle archbishop sets Mass of thanksgiving in honor of Pope Benedict XVI

Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving on Thursday, the scheduled final day of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, at 12:10 p.m. in St. James Cathedral, according to an archdiocesan media release Tuesday.

“As Pope Benedict’s pontificate draws to a close,” the statement said, “Archbishop Sartain has asked that a Mass of thanksgiving for the Holy Father be celebrated in each parish throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle, and that all Catholics pray for the pope, his successor and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit during this time of transition.”

On the day the papal resignation was announced, Feb. 11, Sartain said he “received the news ... with strongly mixed feelings.”

Describing the pope as “no stranger to challenge,” Sartain noted that the pope grew up “in Germany during the Nazi scourge,” advised “the council fathers during the Second Vatican Council,” oversaw the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during the pontificate of Blessed Pope John Paul II, and finally assumed the role of supreme pontiff himself.

“Having had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions, I have always been struck by his humility and kindness,” Sartain wrote. “A brilliant theologian, he is also a caring pastor who looks one straight in the eye and listens carefully.”

Continue on your Lenten journey with FREE seasonal formation and liturgical articles from our sister publication, Celebration Publications.
Visit the new online resource page here.

Added Sartain: “A prolific writer even before his election as pope, he has continued to teach clearly with his encyclicals and books. As pastor of the universal Church, he has reminded us particularly of the truth that faith must issue forth in love, and thus that not only individual Christians but the Church herself must reach out to those who suffer around the world.”

In April 2012, the Vatican appointed Sartain head of a trio of bishops to oversee reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the organization that represents almost four out of five U.S. women religious.

In an assessment issued at that time, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith questioned LCWR fidelity to church teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality. The report has met strong criticism and generated protest in many quarters of the U.S. Catholic community.


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017