Pope's resignation highlights his decisive nature, humility says Bishop Deeley

BRAINTREE -- Pope Benedict's historic decision to step down from the papacy is in keeping with his 'decisive' nature and humility, according to Bishop Robert P. Deeley.

Now the Archdiocese of Boston's vicar general and moderator of the curia, Bishop Deeley served at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2004 to 2011. There, he worked closely with the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joseph A. Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI.

"The whole notion that he feels that he cannot do the job the way that it should be done is a perfect example of his humility and his pastoral care for the Church. I think that is what makes this so breathtaking that he would conclude that to pull back is the best way to serve the Church," the bishop said.

"That is very much in keeping with what he has done. When he sees the need to make a change in the direction that things have been going in, he listens, he internalizes it, thinks it through, and then acts in a prayerful and decisive manner, and that's what this is," he said.

Bishop Deeley said he saw this reflected day-to-day in working with the pope when he was prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

"When we would lay out the particulars of an individual (canon law) case, or something of that nature, the questions that he would ask would indicate that he was thinking it through. When he would listen to it all, he would come to his conclusion. Then he would give his decision," Bishop Deeley said.

The vicar general also said the decision to step down shows the acumen of a brilliant manager.

"This is a man of great, great genius, an incredible person," Bishop Deeley said.