Benedict the Builder Pope Resigns His Office. His Work Will Continue in a Restored Church and a New Missionary Age
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
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. (Pope Benedict XVI)
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict XVI will resign his office on February 28, 2013. He will be 86 years old on April 16, 2013. Some early observers indicated his age would make him some sort of caretaker Pope. His pontificate has demonstrated the observers were wrong. He has been an indefatigable and tireless missionary of a Pope.
With the humility which has characterized his extraordinary papacy, the announcement was simple and straightforward. It was made to a consistory of his brothers in the episcopate, cardinals who had gathered in Rome where he will soon approve over 800 causes for canonization. He will become the first Pope since 1294 to resign his office in this way. Here is his complete statement:
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
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
I must confess - I was not surprised. I had been sensing, in that strange "baptized hunch" way - which is sometimes from the Holy Spirit and sometimes not - that he was not to be with us much longer. I watched closely for word on his declining health. Like many I have noted his frailty over the last year as he took to using assistance in his mobility. But nothing emerged. Then today came this honest and humble announcement from this Successor of Peter who so appropriately demonstrates that title "Servant of the Servants of God".
I vividly remember the day in 2005 when the announcement of his own election to the Petrine ministry was made. "Habemus Papem", "We Have a Pope!" the Cardinal announced. Pope Benedict XVI stepped forward onto the balcony overlooking St. Peters Square calling himself "a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord." The applause was uproarious. The joy filled not only that Square but the hearts of millions throughout the entire world who had prayed for this moment.
He continued ". that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the risen Lord, trusting in his permanent help, we go forward." Then the questions began. All of them related to one singular question "Where will the Pope lead us?" Morning papers and television commentaries were besieged with alleged answers. They ranged from ecstatic commentary to morose complaint, depending, as if often the case, on the speaker or writers positions on the so called hot button issues that the dominant media culture seems to be obsessed about.
However, like his beloved predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI was never so obsessed. In fact, he approached the world in an entirely different way. That way is the ever ancient but ever new way of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as lived, loved, proclaimed and taught by the Catholic Church for two millennia. He, like John Paul, could not be fit into the tired labels that so many try to fit him into. He is simply a faithful Catholic Christian.
I was ...
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