Argentinian cardinal says God spoke through Pope Benedict

Cardinal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, the retired archbishop of Parana, Argentina, said that God used Benedict XVI's resignation from the papacy to speak a message of love to his people.

In a Feb. 27 interview with CNA, Cardinal Karlic said that Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI's decision to resign "is a message, a grace." 

"God is calling us again through him," the cardinal said. "It is the sign of a grace that is being given to us to love God and all mankind."

Being Catholic, he continued, means being a brother to all the nations of the world. 

"If there is one thing that really brings me joy, it is not feeling like a stranger or a foreigner in any part of the world, because God is our Father and we all are called to be brothers and sisters," he added.

The cardinal commented on the Holy Father's decision to retire from his office at the end of February due to advanced age and declining strength. He said the decision to step down into a life of prayer for the Church is a sign from God calling all people to experience his love.

The Pope-emeritus "speaks just like Jesus did," said Cardinal Karlic, "and that is how men and women must speak. To express what God has given us interiorly to others, to share what God has done to us and for us. Because the truth about man is communion with God and communion with all mankind."

He also stressed the importance of continuing ahead in the Year of Faith with the same enthusiasm Benedict XVI showed in proclaiming it.

"I believe that the Year of Faith is an enormous grace that that Benedict's successor will in no way squander. He will have the same enthusiasm," the cardinal stated.

During the Year of Faith, which runs throughout Nov. 24, 2013, Catholics have been invited to deepen their knowledge of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Karlic was one of the drafters of the new Catechism that was promulgated under Pope John Paul II.

"It's great to think that the catechism provides a vision for everything for a culture that questions everything," he said. "It is a complete and organic vision for those who occupy important positions of authority in the world and for all the citizens of this society that is more and more united because of the possibilities we now have in science and technology."

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