-- Catholic News Agency
Knights Of Columbus Encourage Prayers For Next Pope
NEW HAVEN, CONN., February 13 (CNA) .- A new prayer from the Knights of Columbus thanks Jesus for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and intercedes for the gift of a holy and faithful Pope after Benedict's retirement on Feb. 28.
"Until a new pope is elected, we encourage all members of the Knights of Columbus, their families and all Catholics to say this prayer daily for Pope Benedict, for the Church, and for our future Pope," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Feb. 11.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal charitable order with over 1.8 million members worldwide.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, wrote the prayer, which thanks Jesus Christ "for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and the selfless care with which he has led us as Successor of Peter, and your vicar on earth."
"Good Shepherd, who founded your Church on the rock of Peter's faith and have never left your flock untended, look with love upon us now, and sustain your Church in faith, hope, and charity," the prayer reads.
It also asks Jesus to give Catholics a new Pope "who will please you by his holiness and lead us faithfully to you, who are the same yesterday, today and forever."
The Knights of Columbus have supported many papal initiatives. The order co-sponsored with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America the December 2012 "Ecclesia in America" conference on regional challenges and evangelization. Pope Benedict XVI addressed attendees at the conference.
On Feb. 11, Supreme Knight Anderson said Catholics' thoughts and prayers are with the Pope. He said Pope Benedict has "worked so hard in leading the Church" and has "always been such a good friend to the Knights of Columbus."
"We wish him all the best in his retirement," Anderson said. "In addition, we pray for all those cardinals who will take part in the conclave, and for his successor, that God may inspire them as they carry out the mission with which they are entrusted."
Pope Benedict on Monday unexpectedly announced that he would resign from his duties on Feb. 28, citing "advanced age" and deteriorating strength. The consistory of cardinals he had previously convoked will serve as a papal conclave.
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