Rep of Kyivan Patriarchate Comments on Pope's Resignation
The spokesman of the Kyivan Patriarchate Archbishop Yevstratii (Zoria) commented on Pope Benedict XVI’s statement about his resignation.
"The resignation of the pope is an internal matter of the Catholic Church. Therefore, any extended comments should rather be made by its representatives. However, it is clear that such an exceptional event, which is actually the first absolutely voluntary resignation of a pope, cannot leave indifferent even people who are not part of the Catholic Church. There are different reasons for Pope Benedict to make such a step and I am sure that old age, to which he himself refers in the text of the resignation, is only one of them.
"Pope Benedict XVI was known as a traditionalist and conservative from the time when he was the closest theological assistant of his predecessor, John Paul II, and when he himself became head of the Catholic Church. Therefore, he constantly met resistance of liberal Catholic circles. He felt even stronger resistance of the aggressive secularism which gradually engrosses Western society. I think that Pope Benedict XVI feels that the Catholic Church needs a more active and mobile pope during this complicated time - one who would not only react to the events but also be able to form the 'agenda' himself like his predecessors, John XXVIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II did," reads the commentary.
As for the statement of Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfieiev) of the ROC that Pope Benedict played an important role in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, Archbishop Yevstratii responded that Pope Benedict XVI was a more comfortable partner in the dialogue for the Moscow Patriarchate than his predecessor.