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Pope Benedict XVI Announces Resignation

Jim Burroway

February 11th, 2013

For the first time since 1415, when Pope Gregory XII announced he would step down to allow fresh elections to put an end to the Great Western Schism, Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation effective February 28:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

There’s a great deal of speculation as to who the next pope would be. Some suggest that New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan might become the first American Pope. Given various geopolitical realities — and the fact that the American Catholic Church is something of a rather small runt in global Catholicism — I find such speculation unconvincing. Which means I could very easily be wrong.

Pope Benedict XVI has been an anti-gay crusader of long standing. In a 2007 message for World Peace Day, in which the  Pope had a whole range of worldly ills which stand as a barrier to peace, he singled out gay marriage as “an objective obstacle on the road to peace.” This, while the Vatican opposed a UN resolution on decriminalization of homosexuality and the removal of the death penalty for those countries which impose it. While the Vatican is credited for exerting its influence against Uganda’s Anti-Homosxuality Bill in 2010, the Pope last December met with Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the bill’s supporter, while she was in Italy for, ironically, a human rights conference.

In 2010, the pedophile scandal reached the Pope himself when it was revealed that as Archbishop in Bavaria, he had facilitated the repeated employment of at least one pedophile priest for pastoral assignments. It was also revealed that while head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger made no moves to defrock an American priest who had molested some 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin, and that he was directly involved in a cover-up of a sexual predator priest in California.

Comments

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Snowman
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Maybe it’s just me, but I think there has to be more to this than just poor health, not that I expect we’ll actually find out what it is.

Priya Lynn
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

I think so too Snowman. I think he’s been figuratively speaking beat up on a variety of issues and he’s not emotionally and mentally up to it anymore.

Shanna Carson
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Can we expect the Catholic change with the next Pope? I don’t really think so. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, formerly the archbishop of Quebec City, has the best odds of replacing Pope Benedict XVI, but he is an extremely conservative man who will definitely not want the Catholic church to change. He is expected to be a carbon copy Pope Benedict XVI.

Paul in Canada
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Most logical and responsible thing he’s done since taking office.

Robert
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

According to Catholic Prophecy, the next Pope is supposed to be the Devil incarnate and is to preside over the end of the world. Saint Malachy prophocized the Popes by name and lineage for centuries, ending with Peter the Roman who is supposed to be the Devil and bring about the end of the World. Malachy was made a Saint and there is great belief in this prophecy, so expect the Church to act accordingly…

Robert
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Good chance it will be Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghiana. You know it has to be the First Black Pope that brings them down. I think they might forgo a long form birth certificate, but they will wnat to know if his Mother was a Jackal…

Ben in Oakland
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, do you have some evidence for your claim Malachy prophesying the names and lineage of the popes? Because apart from the probability that the whole thing was a forgery, to the best of my knowledge, it wasn’t a detailed list, it wasa list that not surprisingly, ended when the list was discovered in the late 1500s, and continued on with somewhat poetic references. Tethird prophecy of Fatima is also supposed to have something to do with this ,too.

Mark F.
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

I say we should be nicer to this Pope than he has been to us. Good luck in your retirement, Joseph Ratzinger, and may you learn to be more compassionate.

As for radical change in the church: Not going to happen, but perhaps a change in tone.

Timothy Kincaid
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

“Peter the Roman” could refer to any Pope or papal candidate.

In addition to head of the church, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome and successor to the seat of St. Peter. Thus Benedict’s reference to “Petrine ministry”, the “bark of Saint Peter” and the “See of Saint Peter”.

Upon his crowning, the next Pope – whomever he may be – will hold the office of Peter the Roman. Or, for that matter,

In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.

could well mean that upon the completion of the list ending with Benedict it all ends, and that on February 28, Rome will be destroyed and God will judge the earth.

Or that Malachy was full of malarkey.

Priya Lynn
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

I’m going with “Malachy was fullof malarkey”.

Bill T.
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Ratzinger is making a hasty get-away to avoid a rather public perp-walk through the Hague for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit child molestation.

He’s free to hide out anywhere in the U.S. because the last president has already given him a pardon for those very crimes.

CPT_Doom
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Well it’s not quite Nixon in 1974, but it is good to see the unindicted co-conspirator in humanity’s largest and most far-reaching crime wave stepping down. Unfortunately his successor will likely be as morally corrupt as this collaborator with the WWII German war machine – and that’s literally the nicest thing I can say about him.

Soren456
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

As was said of Hadrian Vll: “He was so tired.”

Robert
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Ben in Oakland:

Akk I know is what I read. The trouble with Prophecy is it reall can’t be proven till after the fact, and it’s usually vague, as you mentioned, but just google it, there is plenty of information on it. I just mention it because it is relevant to the discussion in regards to everyday Catholics. They believe it very much. although current feelings are that they were jesuit forgeries. And there were a lot of predictions in it that are very close or exactly what happened throughout history.

If for no other reason I mention it because so many of the famous “prophecies” have been completed. The Hopi prophecies, The Mayan Prophecies and others. Last big one until they find another End of The World prophecy.

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/20116

http://www.crystalinks.com/papalprophecies.html

http://www.bibleprobe.com/last10popes.htm

Robert
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy-

It wouldn’t come to end on the 28th of February, have no idea how you come to that conclussion, since they won’t be deciding on the Next Pope probably until Easter. That also wouldn’t account for the things the final Pope has to faccilitate to bring about the end. He must reign for some period of time. There has also never been a Pope with the name Peter out of reverence to Peter the Apostle. So the next Pope would have to claim that name in order to fulfil this prophecy. I find it enthralling.

Timothy Kincaid
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

Peter of Rome could refer to the entire string of Popes, not to the name of the final one coming in. There Peter of Rome has sat for 2,000 years nourishing the sheep through tribulations.

But with the Glorious Olive resigning, this ookie spookie prophesy could be out of Popes to predict.

Oh Noes!!

Lord_Byron
February 11th, 2013 | LINK

So, what is the big scandal that he is trying to leave the holy see for? The fact that this is the first time it has occurred in the last 600 years says something fishy is going on. I expect something major to come out in the next couple months.

Hunter
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

Where’s that butler when you need him?

Ben in Oakland
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

Soren– that’s a must read book for anyone interested in the church. And so few people HAVE read it. In one blog posting, I wrote, “where’s Hadrian VII when you need him?” And über catholic was totally miffed: “When you people don’t like the church, you just make something up. There was no HAdrian VII.” My response was…

“And isn’t that a pity?”

jpeckjr
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

I cannot explain why, but when I heard of B16′s decision, I thought of the US Supreme Court. Also a lifetime appointment. And whether men and women in their 80s should be serving in the US Senate and House.

I could not help but wonder if, in general, there is a time when our mental and physical capacity to keep up with the world has diminished to the point we have a responsibility to step aside.

While I too believe there is something on the horizon for the RCC that B16 simply does not want to deal with, even if health is the primary reason, his leaving the world stage is a good thing.

Virtually nothing B16 has said and done has been edifying to me. Nonetheless, his decision to step aside has made me reflect on aging. I just had a birthday divisible by five, so it is fresh on my mind.

Robert
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, maybe in your thinking the entire Papacy could be considered Peter The Roman, but according to the prophecy I mentioned, it will be THE name of the next Pope.

The last Pope prdiction reads:

10. PETER THE ROMAN – The 112th prophesy states: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Petrus Romanus, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End.” The last pope may just cut Catholics loose from unity and the papacy, causing total disruption and confusion. See Saint Francis of Assissi’s 13th century prophecy below. It is believed the next pope will

Each preceeding prophocied Pope had a name that did correspond with the name they took at being installed Pope.

Robert
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

I also found it interesting to find out today that this current Pope has a pacemaker which was only revealed in recent days. He evidently had it before becomming Pope. Usually they don’t hide those facts from the Public. There is probably a health scare that is causing this. I doubt he fears any prosecution by the Hauge or other Courts. I think it would cause a world war if the Pope was put in prison…

Priya Lynn
February 12th, 2013 | LINK

“I doubt he fears any prosecution by the Hauge or other Courts.”.

I agree, but I think he sees the Catholic church is going to hell in a handbasket and he doesn’t want to be around to take any more blame than he already has.

edward busko
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

this is Fatima prophesy being fulfiiled. i dont know the inner workings of the Vatican. no one does. all i can recommend is start reading the Fatima Crusader and you will be enlightened.

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