Milwaukee Archbishop Listecki discusses pope's resignation: 'Everyone thought... he would be this hammer'

CREATED Feb 11, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has mixed emotions about Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign his position.

The news came as a surprise, but the archbishop said he was by no means shocked by this announcement.

“Everyone thought that when Benedict was elected pope, he would be this hammer,” said Listecki.

Archbishop Listecki is no stranger to the Vatican, and the leader of the church. He met Pope Benedict a number of times, And even sat down with him face to face.

While he is sad to see the pontiff move on, Listecki knew retirement was always in the pope's mind.

“Several times, he mentioned, 'As pope, I would resign if I couldn't fulfill or not be able to do the work the office demanded."

The archbishop noticed the pope's energy deteriorating. At 85, he would move around on the same platform used for Pope John Paul II.

“I don't think anyone can script what that office is going to demand,” Listecki said.

He added that he'll remember Pope Benedict as an intellectual, reserved and loving. He feels he was what the church needed nearly eight years ago.

“He was elected because he was very simply the best person in that conclave that the cardinals thought could lead the church,” Listecki said.

Now, that conclave will meet again, marking an exciting time for Catholics around the world.

“It will be opening up themselves to God's will, and looking at the man who best fits that sense of church at this current time,” Listecki added.

One of the names being thrown around in the media right now is former Milwaukee Archbishop, and now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan.