Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/19/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope showing signs of aging, continues to keep a hectic schedule.

Those closest to Pope Benedict XVI have observed that he is showing the signs of aging. The Holy Father is 84 years old, and will turn 85 on April 16. The demands and the rigors of the job with an Emperor's responsibility, would be a herculean task for even a young man. But motivated by Spirit and responsibility, Benedict continues to keep a busy schedule.

Pope Benedict on his new moving platform which allows him to conserve his strength during services.

Pope Benedict on his new moving platform which allows him to conserve his strength during services.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Benedict XVI, Pope, aging, moving platform


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Nobody is surprised to see Benedict slow down. Perhaps one of the most recent and evident signs of his age was the installation of a moving platform in St. Peter's that transports the Pope to and from the main altar. It is natural then, for his followers to inquire about his condition.

By all indications, the 84-year-old Holy Father is in excellent health. He has not recently taken any sick days, and although he has pared down some of his activities, he continues to keep a schedule that would make a veteran jet setting executive sweat. This appears to many as a minor miracle in itself.

In November, Benedict visited West Africa on a three-day trip during which he braved 90+ degree temperatures and high humidity to meet with dignitaries and address the faithful. By all accounts, he was lively and in top form. But those closest to him, explain that the Holy Father was exhausted by the visit. 

Observers have reported that the Holy Father does not elaborate off-the-cuff as much as he used to, and that on some days he appears just plain tired.

Rabbi David Rosen, head of interfaith relations at the American Jewish Committee stated recently "Indeed I was struck by what appeared to me as the decline in Benedict's strength and health over the last half year. He looks thinner and weaker... which made the effort he put into the Assisi shindig with the extraordinary degree of personal attention to the attendees (especially the next day in Rome) all the more remarkable."

In the book "Light of the World," released November 2010, Benedict made a statement which piqued the interest of followers. In the book he said, " If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign."

Observers speculate that Benedict may have taken this view as he worked closely with Pope John Paul II, and witnessed  John Paul's declining health at the end of his papacy. 

However, the notion of a pope resigning is anathema to many Catholics. The last time a pope resigned was in 1415, and the resignation helped to end the Great Western Schism, a period in which popes and anti-popes ruled opposing halves of Europe.

If Benedict were to step down, even willingly and consciously, it could raise the possibility of instability and division within the normally unified church. It could also set a precedent that future popes might be more likely to follow, resigning at the first hint of trouble. 

Benedict made clear that one should not resign in the face of adversity. In the same book he said, "One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on. But one must not run away from danger and say that someone else should do it."

In light of these views, it is unlikely that the Holy Father will step down anytime soon. But it is understood that he is aging normally and fatiguing more easily. The good news is, he appears possessed of the supernatural ability to keep moving and guiding the flock. 

Benedict has scheduled visits to Cuba and Mexico for early 2012, and is already planning to visit Rio de Janeiro in 2013 for the next World Youth Day.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Europe

Evangelical, Missionary Pope Francis Calls Europe to Return to Jesus Christ and Christian Roots Watch

Image of The European Parliament building

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I believe that Europe has many resources for going forward. It's like a sickness that Europe has today. A wound. And the greatest resource is the person of Jesus. Europe, return to Jesus! Return to that Jesus whom you have said was not in your roots! And this is ... continue reading


Father William Nolan appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has appointed Father William Nolan, vicar general of Motherwell, as Bishop of Galloway. Father Nolan says he is "over-awed" by the appointment. He has served in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, for 20 years. Nolan will replace ... continue reading


Rome's Colosseum to host cultural events again Watch

Image of Occasional concerts are held inside the Colosseum but the rebuilding of the arena's wooden flooring would allow more frequent events.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It once hosted bloody sports galore, with gladiators fighting to the death as well as Christians being thrown to the lions. Now, Rome, Colosseum will begin hosting less blood-soaked events. Italy's culture minister has given the green light for special events ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints Robert Sarah to head the Vatican's congregation of liturgical practices Watch

Image of Robert Sarah, the 46-year-old president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has been named by Pope Francis to head a congregation on liturgical practices.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea has been appointed the new head for the Vatican congregation that oversees and determines the liturgical practices of the Catholic Church world wide. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis made the appointment on November ... continue reading


SCARY VIDEO! What the heck blew up in Russia's sky? Was it a meteor or something stranger?! Watch

Image of A still taken from footage of the phenomena that took place in Russia on November 14.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What was the mysterious phenomena that occurred in Russia and was witnessed and captured on camera by dozens of motorists? It appears that nobody knows for sure, and even experts are left scratching their heads while they struggle to find reasonable explanations. ... continue reading


Who really was Jack the Ripper? New evidence points to one man Watch

Image of A criminologist from England may have new evidence that points towards the real identity of Jack the Ripper.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new theory about the identity of infamous 19th century London serial killer Jack the Ripper may explain why the murderer was able to elude contemporary and modern authorities for so long and escape justice. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Gareth Norris, a ... continue reading


Which countries drink the most beer? Our list may surprise you! Watch

Image of Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who still drinks beer?  Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages, behind water and tea.  Beer is also a Catholic tradition, alongside wine-making, and has been widely practiced in monasteries, especially in Europe. Now, a list has emerged detailing ... continue reading


To raise money for the poor, Pope Francis to raffle gifts Watch

Image of The tickets are only a modest 10, but this includes a new Fiat Panda 4x4, with all optional extras.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talking the talk, walking the walk: Pope Francis has done it again. The pontiff is raffling gifts that have been given to him in order to raise money for the poor. Posters announcing the raffle have gone up all over Vatican City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Russia could destabilize Eastern Europe if Ukraine left unchecked, Merkel warns Watch

Image of It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine "called the whole of the European peaceful order into question." Adding to the gloomy outlook was a ... continue reading


The Pope Who Builds Showers for the Poor under St Peters Rattles our Comfort Zones Watch

Image of Pope Francis embracing Jesus in the face of the poor

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Those who love the poor - like Jesus loved the poor- are an instruction manual for the rest of us. They are a sign of the kingdom, making it present in their wake. We have such a man in this Pope named Francis. He recognizes that poverty is more than a lack of ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter