CORNWALL, Ontario - Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Marcel Damphousse is urging Catholics to turn to prayer as Pope Benedict XVI relinquishes his ministry Thursday.
In a statement issued by the diocese, Damphousse called on followers to remain commited to Benedict despite his decision to step down as the leader of the Catholic church.
"We do not remain indifferent as a church before such news," said Damphousse. "We continue to support him in our prayers during this time of transition. He will retire to one of the Vatican monasteries, dedicating himself to prayer and reflection in communion with us all."
The pontiff made his final public appearance as pope Wednesday in Rome as part of a general audience.
On Tuesday the Vatican announced that, after his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI will be known as either "Your Holiness Benedict XVI" or "emeritus pope."
As a sign of respect, it has been reported Catholic cardinals will wait until Monday before outlining their plans for a conclave to elect a new Catholic leader.
"I urge you to pray to the Holy Spirit so that He may enlighten and guide the cardinals who will gather in conclave very shortly to elect the next Successor of Peter," said Damphousse. "Our prayers contribute to ensuring the choice will be of God and not of men."