Pope Benedict XVI Will Resign

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, announced that he will resign, effective February 28.

A conclave to elect a new pope will convene in March. According to the Associated Press, this is the first papal resignation in 600 years.

My prayers go with His Holiness as he moves into retirement. My mother is two years older than he is. I have often thought about the Holy Father as I have cared for her. To be honest, I did not see how he — or anyone his age — could handle the tumultuous affairs of state that must be necessary for a pope to administer.

I am grateful to him for the years of faithful service to Our Lord that he has given us. He has remained true to the Gospels and 2,000 years of Christian teaching in the face of criticism and what must have been painful attacks.

I hope that this retirement comes in time for him to have at least a few years of quiet and happiness on this earth before he goes to heaven.

Deacon Greg Kandra has written an excellent news roundup of this announcement. I encourage you to go here to read it. 

The announcement from Vatican radio is below. 

From the Vatican Radio website:

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.

Full text of Pope’s 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 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

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  • pagansister

    He certainly has left his mark on the Church. It will be interesting to see who his successor will be—and also what the age of the next Pope will be.

  • Bill S

    He definitely deserves to live out his life in peace. My in-laws are in their 80s and I could not see them keeping up with his schedule.

    I went to see him at the old Yankee Stadium. It was the last event held there. His people were told that he was not to go onto the grass since it is sacred in a baseball sense. That struck me as odd but that is what the EWTN reporter said.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    May The Lord send him many more years.

  • Ted Seeber

    I am already praying for Cardinal Arinze. But let God’s will be done.

  • Bill S

    Cardinal Arinze who is the odds on favorite is 80 years old and very conservative. Doesn’t anyone think that the Catholic Church could use an infusion of new blood? Is this the way it is going to be with the Catholic Church? One conservative old pope after another? 2000 years of tradition with no adapting to a changing world?

    Liberal Catholics yearn for change. The outside world yearns for change. But the Catholic Church just keeps chugging along and some people are attracted to its conservatism.

    In a way, I am starting to understand why some people would want it this way. They don’t see change as a good thing. They tend to look at the negative side of change instead of the positive side.

    I would be shocked if the next Pope were to adopt a different stand as the President has on issues such as gay marriage, contraception, etc. It seems that it just can’t be done even if he wants to do it.

  • SteveP

    Rebecca: This is a humble, manful action on Pope Benedict’s part. While I firmly believe grace has upheld Il Papa, I can imagine it is exhausting to have whatever you are trying to say constantly met with “Gay Marriage! Condoms! Abortion!” At some point a parent needs a break from the two-year old’s tantrums especially when the two-year old has been two for forty or more years.

  • pagansister

    Ted Seeber mentioned he had a favorite candidate for the next pope, Cardinal Arinze. He is 80. Would it be smart/ wise to elect another man in the latter part of his senior years? Benedict 16 was 78, and now at 85 he is unable to continue, and has the good sense to retire/resign before the job finally kills him. Also isn’t it about time to hit a much younger group—to perhaps relate to some of the younger Catholics who might be considering leaving the Church for various reasons, not the least of which is the continuation of very conservative “rules”.