Pope reveals goodbye soon and a Rocky Bishop hints at his
CENTRAL Queensland's Catholic community could be farewelling two of their much-loved leaders in the not-too-distant future.
Catholics across the world were shocked earlier this week when Pope Benedict XVI announced he would resign from the papacy at the end of the month.
The 85-year-old is stepping down due to health concerns and will be the first to resign in 600 years.
Yesterday Catholic Bishop of the Rockhampton Diocese, Brian Heenan, said he was surprised when he heard the news, however he thought the Pontiff had made a wise decision.
Bishop Heenan has met the Pope on three occasions.
"He made a good choice to resign because of his age and health considerations," Bishop Heenan said.
"People have felt that he had a huge burden to carry, for someone who was quite tired.
"He became pope at a difficult time and most people would say he has done his best to be positive and lead the church forward.
"He has done a lot of positive things for the church; he is a very spiritual and academic person. He has been a gift to the church is many ways."
And Bishop Heenan himself could also be saying goodbye soon.
Bishop Heenan handed in his resignation on his 75th birthday on August 4 last year and is currently waiting for a new bishop to be appointed to the diocese.
Even though retirement is around the corner, he said he was happy in Rockhampton and to maintain responsibility for the diocese until a new bishop was appointed.
Five facts about Pope Benedict XVI that you probably didn't know:
He enjoys playing the piano and listening to the music of Mozart and Bach daily
He is fluent in six languages, including German, English, Italian, French, Spanish and Latin. He has knowledge of Portuguese
At the age of 16, Josef Ratzinger was drafted into the German army
The Pope loves cats and has two of his own, one which he found on the streets of Rome
His favourite meal is Bavarian potato ravioli with pancake strips.