Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain
Seattle's Archbishop says "something" told him to turn on the news very early this morning. That's how he got word that Pope Benedict XVI would retire. (KIRO Radio/Tim Haeck)

Seattle archbishop found Pope Benedict XVI humble and kind

Seattle's Archbishop says "something" told him to turn on the news very early this morning. That's how he got word that Pope Benedict XVI would retire.

Peter Sartain told reporters Monday that he met the Pope several times and found him humble and unassuming.

"Those who knew him well, far, far better than I, had told me very often that their impression, having known him well, is exactly the same as mine."

Scandals involving the abuse of children by priests have rocked the Catholic church during Benedict's tenure.

"I think it's been a terrible burden for him, as it has been for everybody in the church and a great sadness for him that the scandals happened," speculated Sartain.

Archbishop Sartain expects continuity and no dramatic changes in the church when a new Pope is selected.

"I don't think we're going to see any huge change, any huge break, we'll have a new shepherd and that shepherd will be continuing along the lines that we have experienced in recent years," said Sartain.

Sartain says he saw fatigue in the Pope but nothing more serious, healthwise. He respects what he calls Benedict's "very personal and spiritual" decision to retire.

You might also be interested in:

Seattle Catholics weigh in on Pope Benedict XVI's decision to retire


Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
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