to take back something previously said — such as a promise or opinion
to move back or in — such as an airplane's landing gear, or pulling your hand back after being burned
in surgery, the use of a medical instrument to draw skin or an organ back out of the way
Barb Wiggin, trying to prevent the angel from swinging, turned Harold Crosby away from the shepherds and the congregation—so that he continued to swing, but with his back toward everyone, as if he had decided to spurn the world, or retract his message.
There are no more uses of "retract" in A Prayer for Owen Meany.