Medford Catholic parish will ring its bells for eight minutes this afternoon.
In honor of the end of Pope Benedict XVI's reign as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Joseph Parish on High Street in Medford will be ringing its bells for eight minutes this afternoon. According to an e-mail from a Catholic Archdiosese of Boston spokesperson, churches and institutions throughout the Archdiosese have been asked by Cardinal Sean O'Malley to ring their bells from 1:52 to 2 p.m. The bells will ring for eight minutes to honor the Pope's eight years of service as the Holy Father. Today is Pope Benedict's final day as Pope, as he announced earlier this month his intention to resign. He is the first Pope in over 600 years to resign.
Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of the month.
News that Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of the month is reverberating across the world Monday morning, with reaction coming from Medford too. The 85-year-old pope, who began his papacy after John Paul II death in 2005, said that his strength deteriorated "to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," according to Reuters. Father Edward F. Doughty of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Fellsway West in Medford admires the decision made by the pope. "It says a lot about his courage," Doughty said. "I'm sure there was immense pressure for him to stay. It says a lot about his self-knowledge." Doughty said he hopes the pope will "be able to enjoy peace and have some joy …