11 February 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Abdicates, Effective February 28

I have no words, but to announce the fact, which is not completely unprecedented in Church history, but still... There will be time for analysis later, now is time for prayer.

The Pope stated at today's consistory:

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.


Anonymous said...

I am sad today. Secularistic selfishness has taken over the papacy. It has become trivialized as nothing more than a job you can walk away from at your desire. How do we move on from here? The pope and the papacy should be removed from the fast and rapid changes of todays world. This reeks of masonic interest. I am frightened of where my Church is headed.


Anonymous said...

I feel like I just got punched in the gut, or lost a family member. I have a hard time coming to peace in my own mind how the Holy Father can abdicate his office which was ordained by God, but I do not presume to know the heart of the Pope, nor do I presume to know his burdens, which are legion. I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries this morning for him and our Church ... much, much prayer and penance needed - all of it on the doorstep of Lent.


TLMer said...

The Pope is within his right to leave the office. He outlined his reasons, which neither sound selfish nor nefarious. God will bring a new Pope whom He desires to lead us through Lent and into the future. I pray for Pope Benedict, and for all our clergy, that God will fill them with His Grace and will guide them toward faithful and effective leadership of us, our Lord's Flock.

baffle said...

I'm inclined to give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt, and Michael Matt may be correct in his early supposition that this is Benedict XVI's way of circumventing the plots of the 'wolves.,' but it sure strikes me as revolutionary and un-traditional hermeneutic of rupture to do something that has not been done in 600 years, and really has not been done in over 700 years, since Pope Celestine V voluntarily resigned in 1294.

Things did not end well for Celestine V. He was subsequently imprisoned by his successor and died in prison, some believing he was murdered. He was, however, later canonized, although Dante placed him in the upper regions of hell for his "great refusal."

dmw said...

No doubt His Holiness, upon resigning, will live a life of penance and mortification, perhaps in reparation for all the sins of the clergy (especially) and those of the rest of the world. We should refrain from judging this action; afterall, His Holiness may have received an interior insight from Our Lord Himself, asking that His faithful vicar step aside. I have little doubt that Joseph Ratzinger will live on this earth for too much longer. Watch the video of his announcement to the cardinals and you'll see a man bearing the weight of the world.

Alison said...

You put it well DMN. I have to admit that I was surprised but someone did point out to me that he had called a consistory twice this past year. I am never savvy enough to see things like this coming. I just shed tears.

Anonymous said...

Settle down. It's not the end of the world. Before you all start setting fire to your neighborhoods and looking to the skies for dancing suns and angels on horseback, watch this. Cardinal Arinze has some wise words for you.