Monday, February 11, 2013

Stunned by the News

Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down from the papal office. To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. Here is the full text of his declaration:

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 barque 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


Source: Vatican Radio

24 comments:

  1. I'm stunned with you. Praying, praying.

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  2. Hi Nancy,
    I never turned on the TV or computer this morning so I didn't find out until our pastor announced it after Mass. I think my jaw dropped. While this may not be unprecedented it rarely happens so I'm sure all Catholics were surprised by the news.

    I'm praying too - both for Pope Benedict and whoever will be our next Pope. (And I can't wait to find out who it will be...)

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  3. Lent is such a good time to pray for both Pope Benedict and the new and upcoming Pope. The future of the Church is at least in a small way, or maybe even in a big way dependant on our prayers. We must show God that we really do care who He chooses to lead us.

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  4. Last time a Pope resigned was 600 years ago. I'm trying to find his name.

    Let us pray for this and the next Pope; and thank them both for their services to the Church.

    God bless.

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  5. Victor

    Pope Peter Celestine ( AKA Celestine V??) The Hermit Pope
    The last pope to be acclaimed as Pope. They had to hunt him down and practically jamm the Tiara onto his head. He was Pope for about 6 months and he seems best known for having confirmed the Popes' right to abdicate and then promptly abdcated.

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  6. Last Pope to abdicate (resign) was Pope Gregory XII on 4 July 1415. (See Pope No. 205 on list).

    The first Pope to abdicate was St Pontian on 28 September 235. I wonder what calendar they had then. (See Pope No. 18 on list).

    Here's the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes

    God bless.



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  7. Thanx Puff.

    I didn't know about Celestine. I'll search for him on the list.

    God bless you.

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  8. Hi Monica,
    Yes, it is a good opportunity for prayer and fasting both for Pope Benedict and his successor. Have you been on the site Pray More Novenas? They are planning a novena right now for Pope Benedict and one after that for the election of the new pope. Here is the address: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/novenas/join-the-novena-for-the-pope?awt_l=Jw4yg&awt_m=3Xhx8KQtJYjAMf.

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  9. Hi Puff,

    Celestine is Pope 192 on the list. He resigned rather than abdicated. What is the difference?

    Pope No. 205 abdicated.

    God bless you.

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  10. Hi Victor,
    I was looking for information about this too. Thanks!

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  11. Hi Puff,
    That's interesting stuff. It sounds like he was firmly determined NOT to be pope. I'll have to look him up and find out more. Thanks!

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  12. Stunned me too. Even talked among the non=Catholics. I went to a Kenneth and Gloria Copeland conference this morning and the news was mentioned as well.

    Blessings to you dear Mary.

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  13. Hi Grace,
    I think it surprised a lot of people since it is rare for a pope to step down like this. I understand but I was still stunned!

    God bless you too!

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  14. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for the novena-for-the-pope link. That is such a wonderful idea!

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  15. I didn't see this coming but I'm thinking its courageous and may set a precedent for future elderly popes. He must be weary of shepherding a billion Catholics!

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  16. Mary,

    Despite our grief at losing him, I guess we must trust that Pope Benedict is doing God's will, and so all will be well. It will be an extraordinary Lent with all the faithful united in prayer, and the announcement of a new pope.

    God bless you!

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  17. Hi Noreen,
    Yes, I'm sure shepherding a billion Catholics takes its toll :) I'm sure this was a very difficult decision for him. I'll miss him - we have been very blessed to have him guiding the Church.

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  18. Hi Sue,
    Yes, I agree. My sister and I were commenting on what an unusual Lent it will be too. All the prayer and fasting should help both Pope Benedict and the new pope.

    God bless you too!

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  19. I dreamt about something like this happening the night before so it was a bit like déjà vu. Strange - and really sad to say goodbye to our gentle pope, too.

    God bless, Mary:-)

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  20. I cried. I will miss him. But I admire him for doing something so unselfish. I want to write about this but having a hard time getting started.

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  21. Hi Vicky,
    Yes, it's sad and I will miss him! He's a wonderful pope!

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  22. Hi Colleen,
    Hopefully our next pope will be as wise as our last two! I'll miss Pope Benedict though.

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  23. I was shocked when I heard it as well, but my immediate reaction was, and still is, that it was a very selfless act that is reflective of a true leader.

    Praying for him, and our next Pope.

    God Bless.

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  24. Hi Michael,
    I agree and am praying with you. God bless you too.

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