Benedict Pledges ‘Unconditional Reverence and Obedience’ to His Successor

Pope Benedict met with the cardinals of the Church who are assembled in Rome for his last day this morning.

He told them that “among you is the future pope, whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.”

According to a rather snarky New York Times article below, the Holy Father made this statement to allay “concern among Vatican watchers” that he would do otherwise. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that the “Vatican watchers” who expressed this “concern” is the New York Times and other media of their general outlook. I don’t think anyone else shared this “concern.”

In this same article, the New York Times, which has had a few scandals of its own, characterized Pope Benedict’s reign as pope as “scandal ridden.”

In spite of the negativity in the article, Pope Benedict’s grace, humility and utter devotion to Christ and His Church shine through. You can not report about this man’s last days in office and use even the most rudimentary facts of his actions or quote the smallest bit of his words without that happening.

Perhaps that’s what it means for all of us to be the light of the world that shines in the darkness.

The New York Times article I’m talking about says in part:

VATICAN CITY — In his final hours as head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI met on Thursday with the cardinals who will elect his successor, urging them to be “like an orchestra” that harmonizes for the good of the church and pledging that he would behave with “unconditional reverence and obedience” toward his successor.

It was one of the concluding acts of a nearly eight-year, scandal-dogged papacy that, Benedict said on Wednesday, was filled with “light and joy” but also had its darker moments when “the Lord seemed to be sleeping.”

A day after blessing the faithful for the last time as pope, Benedict will leave the Vatican by helicopter on Thursday for the papal summer residence and his retirement will formally take effect at 8 p.m., when he will become the “pope emeritus.”

After thanking the more than 100 cardinals collectively from a gilded throne in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the pope rose and greeted each of them individually.

Draped in a red and gold mantle lined with snow-white ermine, Benedict clasped the cardinals’ hands as they removed their distinctive red skullcaps to greet him and kiss his ring.

Benedict told them, “I will be close to you in prayer” as they meet in coming days to choose his successor from their ranks.

“Among you is also the future pope, whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience,” Benedict told the cardinals, reflecting the concern among Vatican watchers about what it will mean to have two popes residing in the Vatican.(Read the rest here.)

For more bizarro coverage from the Catholic bashing wing of the media, check out Mark Shea’s post It Turns Out Andrew Sullivan is a Catholic Blogger.

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  • Peg

    Take cheer there is some good coverage out there. I just watched the pope say farewell at Castel Gandolfo. There were very positive comments from priests and even the shallow anchors on NBC. You can’t see the crowds and hear this pope and not feel moved by his holiness and the reverence of the crowds–wow!

    Castle Gandolfo is beautiful too!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s great to hear Peg. I haven’t had time to turn on my tv in days, which means I never see any of this. Thanks for passing it along.

  • Manny

    I guess you in your work you have to read the NY Times Rebecca. But I highly encourage everyone to ignore the NY Times. If enough people did they would fade away. As it is I think they much less influential than twenty or even ten years ago. I’m not talking about their opinion sections. They are just not fair in their reporting.

    • Bill S

      Sure. Why get another perspective on current events. In Boston, we have the Pilot for Catholic news. That’s all I read.

  • Jessica Hoff

    What a wonderful man Benedict is, and how much we have all gained from him. May he enjoy his prayerful retreat from office.

  • Peg

    CBS had some good coverage too. Just showing him speaking and seeing the crowds helps. But I may have commented too soon. There is some awful stuff on MSNBC–now I know why I skip that channel.

    Our church is not a political platform to handicap by shallow inane babble. It’s not about conservative or liberal. It’s about truth–absolute and unchangeable and love–for truth God and neighbor even enemies. We conform to Christ not popes to modern whims.

    With all the scandals of the NYT you might think they would focus on returning to solid journalism.

    Anyway Rebecca you are doing a wonderful job documenting this unique time for the church and the truth of things. Thanks

    • Sus

      EWTV had great coverage. I was glued to it. My whole day go derailed!