Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

 It is a sad day for Holy Mother Church. I have a great fondness for Pope Benedict XVI, as it was through reading his works as Cardinal Ratzinger that I started to not only move towards the Catholic Church, but also to fall in love with theology. Even as an Anglican, his election to the papacy was a moment of great joy for me. Yet, Pope Benedict has said from the beginning of his pontificate that after seeing what Bl. John Paul II went through in his last years, if he ever felt that he was not mentally or physically able to fulfill his office, it would be his duty to step down for the good of the Church. It appears that he now feels he has reached that point. It's very sad, and out of selfishness I wish he wouldn't, but he is much wiser than I and truly has what is best for the Church at the forefront of his thought. Below is the full text of his announcement.

"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