BREAKING NEWS — Benedict XVI resigns

Cites age and health as reasons for stepping down

The full text of the Pope’s announcement follows.

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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  1. Hopefully they pick a Catholic for the next pope.

  2. Benedict XVI was a truly great Pope that leaves us all his teachings in writing. Jesus of Nazareth, the collections of his Wednesday Audiences, Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Summorum Pontificum. We should be thankful we had almost eight years of this great Holy Father guiding us and the rest of the world. Deo Gratias.

  3. Pope Benedict XVI is a wonderful Pope. I am so sorry he resigned. I do not know the reasons behind this decision. It was wonderful knowing he was at the helm of our Church. I attended an Audience in St. Peter’s Square last November and he looked very well. I feel as if I lost a friend or somebody from my family.

    We will see who will take his place. I doubt we will have someone as good as him. I fear for the future of our Church, we were in good hands.

    • He was a theologian and very good but he was not a pastor or Pope of the people – it was a mistake to elect him 8 years ago – What we needed then, and now, is a young leader, with fresh ideas to lead the church in the direction that was established 2000 years ago – I am not sure what this Pope accomplished during his papacy but history will reveal this in the years to come – With a young Pope we have a future and, if we have an older one, then yes, I would agree with you regarding the future -

      • “With a young Pope we have a future.”

        To some foolish thinkers, old age means a lack of wisdom and to others, youth means a great lack of common sense.

        Dictionary meaning of the word “nonsense”

        1. something that has or makes no sense; unintelligible language; drivel
        2. conduct or action that is absurd
        3. foolish or evasive behaviour or manners, things of little or no value or importance

        • So what’s your point!! – Pope John Paul 2 was a young Cardinal when he was elected and look at the wonderful things he did over the years of his papacy – His work should have been continued after he died but it was not – nothing has been accomplished the last few years –

          Your comment really does not make sense – Foolish thinkers, lack of wisdom/common sense & dictionary meaning of the word nonsense – I think you have missed the whole point of my comment -

        • Great post, Catherine. They are prejudices against the young AND the old.

      • Eric, that is speculation. My speculation is that he was the best pick for the throne, that the “smoke of Satan” in the Vatican is majorly powerful and perhaps no pope could have done more to end that “smoke”. Hopefully he has situated some strong bishops who will be able to further toss the devil’s burning coals out of the hierarchy and then out of the clergy to where the smoldering rubble can be managed by a strong team of lay “firemen” with endless streams of holy water hoses.

      • Anyone who does like and will not miss very much the Pope Benedict XVI cannot be called Catholic!

        He is the one that had the courage to clean up the mess that was left.

        Prayer and penance please! Beg to the Lord to send us a Pope that keeps the hard job of Benedict XVI. It takes a lot courage to do what he has done.

        The real Pope of the Catholic youth!

      • Laurette Elsberry says:

        What the heck do you mean by “fresh ideas”? That’s just plain dumb!

      • Eric A – apparently you have no clue what Pope Benedict has done for our Church. And when you untruthfully harm the Pope’s reputation, you harm the Church and all Catholics.

        Immediately go to the Vatican web site to see Pope Benedict’s:
        Apostolic Constitutions, Encyclicals, Motu Proprios, Apostolic Exhortations, and Apostolic Letters.

        This does not include the books Pope Benedict has written.

        Then come back and post an apology for harming the Pope’s reputation in public print.

        • I see no need to apologize and I am fully aware of all his accomplishments and some were excellent – Your attitude reflects the position of ‘my way or the highway’ and that went out many years ago – Pope John Paul 2 was 58 years old when elected – He had the time to put his thoughts into words and action and look what he did for our Church – I think you should re-read my comments, and others, to get a better understanding of what we are saying rather than assuming this and than -

          • Maryanne Leonard says:

            Wow, I knew CCD was not likely to allow posts that were racist, but a great many posts get through that are insulting to women and older people. Being both a woman and happy about that, and an oldie but goodie and surprised to find myself happy about that too, I do feel the need to point out that being young is not a guarantee a person will be a great pope or a great anything. Sorry to say, the young usually look good but most of the time are not yet mature or wise enough to be great leaders. I don’t know anyone I would consider young whom I would also consider an excellent candidate for pope. First, you’d have to define the term “young.” Then you’d have to discern how much wisdom this young person has managed to acquire in a short time – usually not enough to run a billion-plus person organization. Sorry, mature men are the only reasonable candidates for the position. Eric A., you are a blockhead as well as a person obviously prejudiced against anyone older than you, and that includes your own future self. Ha, ha! Yup, too young to be pope or much of anything else I can figure out, even from my lofty post of superior age and wisdom. Good luck to you getting through life with your snarky attitude toward your superiors. My own snarky attitude is reserved for my inferiors – not all of whom are young, of course! Thanks, God, for letting me live long enough to discern when people are too young to lead us. I hope you live long enough too, Eric, to live to discern how wrong-headed you were back when you were too young to be wise! Sorry, but I’m enjoying laughing at your absurd assertions and enjoying feeling glad I’ve lived long enough to know a blockhead when I come across one. You do owe an apology to lots of people, starting with Pope Benedict, but most of us don’t care what people like you think or do as long as you don’t harm others too greatly while you are gaining experience, judgment and maturity.

  4. I will miss him greatly.. God Bless You Holy Father

  5. God bless Pope Benedict – the Great Teacher of our day – who taught with wonderful clarity.
    Pray for Pope Benedict.
    Pray for the Catholic Church, that the College of Cardinals will chose a Holy Pope that can lead us in combat against the evils of relativism, secularism and marxism within the Church.
    Let all know that the main goal must be the Saving of Souls, not temporal earthly things.
    Let us all pray for obedience on matters of Faith and Morals.

  6. Some thoughts about Pope Benedict’s impending resignation
    Posted on 11 February 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    “In no special order…

    My 2013 prediction, #3? Wow. Was I wrong or what?
    There are some men who ought to be cardinals who aren’t and there is at least one who is who shouldn’t be. Mahony get’s to vote and Chaput doesn’t?
    What does this mean for the SSPX?
    Benedict knows his Augustine. When the Vandals were coming and as Augustine lay dying, he wrote to the priests and nearby bishops urging them not to flee, not to abandon their people.
    Liberals have been howling that Benedict is an ultra-conservative throwback, which was absurd on the face of it. How risible is that claim now?
    Is the Holy Father going to create a few more cardinals before 8 p.m. on 28 February?
    Card. Husar turns 80 on 26 February. Card. Kasper on 5 March. Card. Poletto on 18 March.
    In Dante’s Divine Comedy, in the Inferno, it is probable that the one whom Dante said “made the great refusal” was the Pope who resigned, Peter Celestine – whose resignation paved the way for Boniface VIII.
    A priest friend sent an email: “Suddenly Frodo saw before him a black chasm. At the end of the hall, the floor vanished and fell to an unknown depth. The outer door could only be reached by a slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet….They could only pass across it single file. At the brink Gandalf halted and the others came up in a pack behind.” — The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
    Does the Pope know something we don’t know about TEOTWAWKI?
    The Pope resigned on the World Day for the Sick (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes).
    The Pope in one of his interviews with Peter Seewald said that when a Pope is unable to fulfill his duties, he should resign.
    When the Pope visited the tomb St. Pope Peter Celestine he took off his pallium and left it on the tomb:”

  7. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Pretty shocking news. But on reflection, we could have seen it coming. He held a small consistory a couple of weeks ago that shocked people and led them to believe that he was quite sick. He’s not been seen in public much, and he only had one international trip scheduled. So there was speculation he might be seriously ill.

    I can’t help think that his having basically run the Vatican all those years while JPII was sick had a big impact on him. He may have secretly wished/believed that JPII ought to have resigned, since everyone knew that he was basically unable to function in the office. (This is not a swipe at JPII — I was always touched by the way he dealt with his infirmities and found inspiration in them).

    It could be seen as a lack of confidence in the people around him to carry out the papacy during a phase of infirmity. Could be seen as an invitation to shift directions of the Church. Could be seen as a tip of the hat to his CDF head, who has a love for and deep understanding of the Church in Latin America, which has never really gotten the attention that it deserves given the huge Catholic population in places like Brazil. Could be seen as a passing of the torch to the first generation of bishops ordained after Vatican II, as the Pope was on record as being unhappy with the division between traditionalists and the rest of the Church.

    Or it could be seen as the desire of an old man to take up surfing and move to Maui. (just kidding, but it makes me happy thinking about it !!)

    • ” Pope was on record as being unhappy with the division between traditionalists and the rest of the Church.”….Traditonalist have been treated as ugly step children for decades, we have a great ally with him, we may now see backlash against us if the next Pope is liberal. If that happens I will be attending Eastern rites masses or SSPX chapel exclusively I can see liberal undoing the Summorum Pontificum..

    • “Or it could be seen as the desire of an old man to take up surfing and move to Maui. (just kidding, but it makes me happy thinking about it !!)”

      A precise example of the shocking types of chicanery flourishing within.

      In response to the Feb. 11, 2013 10:37 am post.

      Douay-Rheims Bible

      Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves….Matthew 10:16

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Sheesh Catherine – It wasn’t that long ago that Blessed JPII skied the Alps. Is a surfer-pope all that different?

  8. Wm. Hamilton says:

    Stunned by this news! A great loss for the Church.

    During his brief pontificate, Pope Benedict has left an indelible mark on the episcopacy, especially in California, for which I will be forever grateful.

    How appropriate that he will be retiring to a life of prayer and self-denial. God keep him. I will miss him terribly.

  9. Steve Phoenix says:

    I think that the experience of watching the long, slow passing of JP2, plus also the realization that the CC is facing serious challenges — the present moral and confidence crisis in the Church and the loss of membership, faith, and trust in its leadership being pre-eminent — that Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, always a clear and deeply penetrating thinker, realized that the CC cant face these matters, this time, with a slowly dying Pontiff. The risk to the Church was and is too immense.

  10. Certainly a tragedy for the church. This will also spell the end of negotiations with the SSPX, I’m afraid.

    • True, I fear that the new Pontiff could re-excommunicate them, imagine though Benedict’s last act is their regularization, God Will It

    • Dear Mr. Dave — Oooh! The SSPX people were so disrespectful towards Benedict and John Paul II that the negotiation ought to be cut. One of their priests even tried to stab JP-II in Spain! The next pope ought to invite the individuals who associate with the SSPX to come back to the One True Church and let the little band of nasty anti-Semites go their own way. That’s what I think!

      • They, the SSPX, are in the One True Church, even if under some mild sanctions. Their Sacraments are valid as are those of the Orthodox Churches which are in formal schism. Schism is categorically different from heresy, such as the Protestant and Evangelical churches. In fact, Islam is considered by some theologians to be a Catholic heresy.

    • One SSPX bishop in South America had his entire flock brought into full communion with the Pope without any sanctions. A Latin American pope might favor the SSPX.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      Prophet David,
      When do you think your prophesy will come to fruition?

  11. Abeca Christian says:

    This world is getting more wicked. The curse of homosexuality is growing rapidly and so it’s agenda. The slaughter of the unborn etc…..With failing health, it will take something greater for any human to continue.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Abeca Christian: “The curse of homosexuality” is the reason the Pope resigned? Was the pope cursed with homosexuality?

      • No but he had to deal with a the lavender mafia which has infected the Church for decades. I pray the next Pope crushes the nest of vermin…

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        YFC, you have gone too far with that obscene joke. Sometimes you make sense, but in this case, your demented side has spewed filth, or tried to, upon our honorable and admirable pope. You definitely need to go to confession over this outrageous slight, but I fear your disordered thinking will prevent you from seeing this slam as being sinful indeed. Shame shame shame on you, my friend. Get hold of yourself. Next you’ll be slamming Jesus Christ Himself I fear. Unless you apologize for this outrage, I will no longer consider you as my fellow Catholic. This outrageous slam coming from a man who seems sometimes to think clearly is a perfect example of why Pope Benedict has concluded that homosexuals do not belong in our seminaries or in the priesthood. Your mind is in the gutter, and I hope you will see fit to withdraw that outrageous comment. Shame on you, shame shame shame. I feel sick to my stomach reading your disgusting insult to our great pope. Who do you think you are, talking about our pope that way? You are not my fellow Catholic as long as you hold to that insult.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Maryann, I was asking Abeca to clarify her assertion, I was not making any slights against the Pope. She asserted that being gay was too much for the Pope to handle, so I asked her what her evidence was. Perhaps you ought to take up your beef with her?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            No YFC you twisted what I was conveying because you obviously views things differently… but at least Canisius understood it better. And Maryanne has no beef with me because I she did not see malice in my comments, but with you for that horrible assumption… which in itself is in poor taste.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            You didn’t ask for clarity but what you did was add your interpretation….there is a big difference.

  12. Abeca Christian says:

    This morning at 7 my husband was heading out to work and gave me the news. I wanted to cry. I felt a deep great sadness. I will miss this great Pope! For now I decided to not read people’s comments in regards to this news, I fear that some will say scandalous things, hurtful things that will hurt our Lord, our Church mission and our Pope.

    We must trust in the Holy Ghost….not to lean on wicked men who lack the will to reason well. This Pope is humble and holy,, the wicked men will eat at this opportunity to indulge at what fleshly notion comes from their wicked hearts.

    God bless Pope Benedict.

  13. Cheeseburger says:

    Have no fear…the Church will stand all days…unto the consummation of the world!…Our Holy Church will remain strong, vibrant and “universal”…His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI, is a wonderful, holy man…a “true” soldier for Christ. God bless him…

  14. Cheeseburger says:

    When I was in Rome with my wife, we had the wonderful privilege of attending his holy mass at the basilica of St. Peter’s, and we received his Papal blessing…a great, great loss, I’m somewhat crestfallen…may God keep him in the palm of His hand..

  15. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    I laugh when I see people worried for ‘the future of the Church’ Really? Have you no faith? This Church has been around for 2000 years before you were born into it, however you were born into it, and you think its in trouble? Is Jesus Dead or alive to you. For he is the Church.

    • SomeOtherJohn says:

      Double amen to what you wrote, with whipped cream and a cherry on top. It is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church. What’s to worry about? It will last forever because the Gospel is why we (everyone) were created. The only worry is if individuals lose sight of that. If the Church doesn’t survive in your own house, don’t blame the Pope or the Holy Spirit, or the Cardinals or anyone else. No Faith, no Glory, and sadly, no Redemption. Give Benedict your next Communion. Our Father’s grace is our only salvation.

    • MbKMb, I like your phrase “Jesus” … ” For he is the Church” much better than “The Church is Europe and Europe is the Church” attributed to the late whatsisface.

    • Great post, Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka. As Our Lord and Blessed John Paul II said, “Be not afraid.” I like your post below at 4:13 p.m., too, about the connection with Pope St. Celestine V. I heard it before either from Scott Hahn or you, but had forgotten about it.

  16. Interesting thought, on the 28th of February 2013, 2000 hrs, (8pm Rome time) the sedevecantists position will not have changed! When will the conclave to re-elect a new pope be had? Our biggest concern is who will be elected, fearing a liberal/progressive man that will reverse some of the traditional leaning direction BXVIth was headed and invoke greater change to appease liberals.

    Either way, with new modern leadership yields new liberal changes. Liberal changes may attract some protestants to return, but consequently will only further erode faith/dogma in the modern church.

    • Not much further left for the liberal clergy to go, as they’ve already explored pedophilia and homosexuality. Money, power, sex … which would be emphasized by a liberal pope? Let’s see: sex is probably done for a while what with the pedophilia, gay is likely near the end of its power tether, so that leaves money. But wait, the US bishops largely are already there as well. It really is baffling to speculate where a liberal pope would go. My guess is we’ll have a faithful pope, one who takes seriously Jesus’, “… with all your strength” part of the “worship God with … ” formula.

      • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

        Highly unlikely the folks that put Benedict XVI in the Chair would elect a person who lacks faith in Christ and his Church.

        I agree with you

    • (Different Paul) Neither Catholics nor Protestants respect or join Churches that have no principles.
      Bishops who do not do their own jobs – in handling public scandal within their own Diocese – lose many Souls.

      Canon 915; Canon 1399; 1 Cor 5:11-13.

      We all must actively demand that our Diocese Bishops act to stop grave public SCANDAL within the Church.

  17. I think it’s admirable that Benedict chose to retire. With people living longer, I hope more future popes follow his example as their health fails.

    • JonJ, the logical outcome to your “hope” is euthanasia. But, do you buy the explanation that the Pope is retiring for the reasons given? Do you buy the explanation that Pope John Paul I (the First, who died after one month on the Throne)? Do you buy the idea that the Vatican is staffed with all good people filled with faith? Do you ever wonder how much corruption might be running rampant in the Vatican … not that the recent case of the Pope’s criminally sneaky butler would indicate anything unusual?

      • The outcome of my hope no more leads to the logical result of euthanasia than the Hispanic gesture of one man kissing another on the cheek leads to homosexuality. Of course, Skai, I can’t “reason” like you do.

        I do not doubt that the Vatican has an unfortunate amount of political intrigue. Yet, from what I’ve read, Benedict has been considering this course of action for years. He has twice prayed at the tomb of Celestine V, the pope who established the ability of the Holy Father to resign in canon law. IIRC, the last time was in 2010, well before today’s announcement. Clearly, Benedict determined within himself that he would resign if his health grew too precarious.

  18. I completely trust the leading of the Holy Spirit, and I feel this beautiful, humble Pope (who I think is a living saint) has always been led by Him and that the Church will be left in good hands. We were so blessed to have had such a loving, caring papa, and should be praying for his time of much deserved rest to be full of joy and NO regrets. I picture him playing duets with his gentle brother in a simple cottage in the Alps, with music and quiet walks and time with his Lord. I think he envisions a younger, more vigorous man at the helm to be able to confront the subversive and satanic elements that seem to rear their ugly heads at every level of the Church. Pray that God’s will be done and that the new pope will be a man of action and completely orthodox tempered by love and wisdom.

  19. God bless you, Pope Benedict XVI. I was elated when you were elected, and you have my blessings and good wishes for your retirement. Your understanding of the history of the liturgy was excellent, and you taught me many wonderful things and added to my understanding of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Mass.

  20. Fiat.

  21. Mark from PA says:

    I think Pope Benedict has shown courage in doing this. I think that he has sent a positive message and started a good precedent. People have much longer lifespans these days and it isn’t really fair to expect a Pope to serve when he is elderly and in poor health. May our Holy Father have a peaceful retirement and may God bless him always.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Yes, Mark, I agree with you completely. Pope Benedict is a wonderful human being and has done a great deal of good for the Church during the past 8 years. Pope Benedict’s having made the lonely and courageous decision to resign before he becomes completely incapacitated is a gift to us as well as to future popes in a similar position who can look to this precedent as providing historical evidence of great wisdom.

      I was thrilled when he was elected and am sorry to see him leave, but my goodness, what thrilling gifts his leadership has provided, including his manner of retiring from this tremendous responsibility while he is still able to think clearly and admirably. The only remaining glitch I don’t think will be addressed anytime soon is that this decision must be voluntary. As we are enabled by modern science to outlive our years of mental capacity, surely someday our Church will be subjected to great tragedy as a pope’s body outlives his mental acuity, and he alone will be the person to discern when he should step down. At some point it is a distinct possibility that we can lose our capacity of sensible discernment and be unable to realize it is time to resign from our youthful endeavors, roles and responsibilities.

      It is one thing when dad must be relieved of his driver’s license and even perhaps removed from his home, but what about when Papa should be asked to step down from the Papacy? Few would dare to take matters in hand if a pope should refuse to leave when the time of his ability to serve has passed, and yet fears of internal political intrigue at the highest levels of the Church hierarchy will probably prevent our designing a solution until the need has long since presented itself. Pope Benedict saw his predecessor become very incapacitated and has decided to spare the Church and himself the repeat of such a tragic situation, which would surely leave us open to many such successive tragedies.

      Following such a series of tragedies, a leaning toward younger candidates who were perhaps less worthy of leading us could be one possible, equally tragic, outcome for the Church.

  22. I was very sad to hear the news this morning. I felt blessed having him as Pope and I know it was a great burden for him. Thank you Pope Benedict for all you have done and endured for us.

  23. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    From Dr. Scott Hahn’s Facebook page:

    “Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went largely unnoticed.

    He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval Pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb!

    Fifteen months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way again, this time to visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near Rome, before the relics of this same saint, Celestine V.

    Few people, however, noticed at the time.

    Only now, we may be gaining a better understanding of what it meant. These actions were probably more than pious acts. More likely, they were profound and symbolic gestures of a very personal nature, which conveyed a message that a Pope can hardly deliver any other way.

    In the year 1294, this man (Fr. Pietro Angelerio), known by all as a devout and holy priest, was elected Pope, somewhat against his will, shortly before his 80th birthday (Ratzinger was 78 when he was elected Pope in 2005). Just five months later, after issuing a formal decree allowing popes to resign (or abdicate, like other rulers), Pope Celestine V exercised that right. And now Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to follow in the footsteps of this venerable model.”

  24. Cheeseburger says:

    Within a year my wife and I will return to the “Eternal City”…all roads lead to Rome…praying over the sarcophagus of Saint Paul at the cathedral of Saint Paul, was a spiritually unforgettable experience…I have been to Guadalupe in Mexico City and seen the Tilma of Saint Juan Diego, in glass behind the altar…prior to going to Rome, this was the spiritual highlight of my Catholic existence….

  25. Father Karl says:

    When I was helping out several years ago in Seoul, South Korea , I learned that Pope John Paul II had died. I prayed the miraculous novena to the Infant of Prague that Cardinal Ratzinger would be elected, and he was. God heard my humble prayers. Hearing this news this morning, was like being kicked in the stomach; I am also in shock. I know God is in charge, but I am very fearful. Let us pray a great deal that the Holy Spirit may guide the conclave, and let us pray through the intercession of Saint Celestine that all will be well, not only for Pope Benedict XVI, but also for Holy Mother Church.

    • Father karl, I was willing to accept whomever the Cardinals chose and did not care who won, but later, close to the time of the papal election when I was in my kitchen, I had the sudden desire to pray that the next pope be Cardinal Radzinger, so I was elated when he was chosen. Perhaps there was a connection between my having buried a St. Benedict medal at each of the four corners of our property for St.Benedict’s intercession against earth quakes and my sudden desire to pray for Cardinal Radzinger’s election, even though I did not know at that time that Joseph Radzinger would take the name of Benedict. We do have a connection to the Saints that have gone before I truly believe, as I have had many such things happen to me, and I know others have had them happen too.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        I appreciate our Holy Father’s great example of holiness and his love for the traditions of our faith…he is one of the reasons why I appreciate them more because of his great example and witness to them. He is an inspiration for our youth. Our youth were looking up our holy Father…their Pope…..he enlightened them in areas that many priests and bishops have neglected to do. He may have been in the Vatican but his example and witness was heard and felt all over the world!

        It is true, we look to our elders, who God uses to be powerful in little ways or big ways, to be of great witness and example of what is important to our soul! Never under estimate the power of the mustard seed from the parable as It is mentioned in Matthew’s, Mark’s, and Luke’s gospels.

        God bless Pope Benedict!

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      My most fervent prayers are joined with yours, Father Karl. It would be a great setback for Holy Mother Church were the next conclave to make a mistake in its choice. The incremental improvements we have witnessed these past eight blessed years could easily be nullified with the election of a “progresive” pope.

  26. Good bye Pope Benedict! Let the poor man rest and pray in Peace!

  27. I am so sad. Our Vatican II adversaries will destroy the reputation of this great Pope even before the Conclave takes place. Abdication was a mistake, at least in the short term. We will miss you, Holy Father.

  28. I have come to the view that we need a new Pope that will ardently embrace the traditions of the Church so that we may follow the path that Christ established in his ministry.

    Consequently, we need a Pope that supports:

    1) returning the mass to its original form, celebrated in Aramaic or Greek with the faithful seated around dining tables. Get rid of all this kneeling, standing and shaking hands. We need to make sure to eliminate all potential human error and thus make sure we get back to the mass as Jesus celebrated it.

    2) We should follow the example of Jesus in the kind of men we choose as clergy. Thus married men should be allowed to serve as pastors and the pope, like peter our first pontiff, should be a married man.

    3) we should return to the relationship with secular law that the first church had with roman law. Thus, we should focus all of our efforts to influence our fellow man on evangelization, and trust speaking the truth will cause men of good faith to conform to God’s will. We should give up our attempts to use the mechanism of the state to force people to conform to catholic doctrine like the earliest days of the church that christ established—who had no influence over roman legislation.

    I think returning to the traditions that christ established is the best path because what human being can improve upon Christ’s decisions?

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Interesting idea.

      Would you also return to electing the Pope by the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome? Would you return to a partially female deaconate? Would you consider returning to a revival of the Pauline ministry to mirror that of the Petrine?

      • Yep, sounds good to me. Look at all of the evil that happened under the latin mass and a celibate priesthood. We had ecclesiastical courts using trial by ordeal, the whole spanish inquisition, Galileo’s imprisonment, and all of the things that JPII apologized for in 2000. Notice how all of those things happened with a celebate priesthood and the latin mass.Obviously, they were caused by these deviations from tradition.

        Another thing, we could also get rid of 13th century music trends that weren’t in the original form of the mass, such as Gregorian chant (a precursor to all of the terrible musical entertainment we have today, influenced by current music). Or, later incursions of popular music (in the 18 century) like Mozart’s requiem mass taken from his operas.

      • You sure pick up on the shallowest levels of Church history, YFC. When are you going to look into substantial doctoral writings … Scripture, Church Fathers, to name some?

    • Jon J, the faithful were not seated around a dining table at the first Eucharist. They reclined all on the same side of the table as was the Roman or Jewish custom at that time. Much as the Arabs do in their tents. Would you like to go back to that too?

      • The version of everyone seated around a table was just that of Michelangelo.

        • Actually, in the Traditional Latin Mass and the Anglican Use Mass all ARE seated on the same side but facing the Lord.. Now there you go, Jon J,. Let’s use those Masses which are closer to the original.

          • In earlier posts, I think I established that I do not think ceremonial form is of prime importance. The whole point of my original post was to point out most everything that Traditionalists demand, were, at one time, not part of the Church.

            In fact, Traditionalist philosophy is something inherently contradictory. Because, had the Church adopted this mode of thought early on, the very things that Traditionalists cherish, would never have come into being.

            The Latin mass only came after hundred of years, because the original language of the celebration was Hebrew and Greek. Celibate priests only became a requirement, after 800AD (i think it was Charlemange who insisted on this rule, because the only way he could support the church was by giving it land, because the money economy had collapsed in Europe. However, he didn’t want to create a hereditary power that could rival his throne, thus he demanded priests have no heirs).

            Gregorian chant comes from the 13th century and would have been completely alien to the first Christians.

            Now, I know Paul (for one) advocated celibacy for clergy relatively early on—however it was not the absolute requirement of the early days. And, the bible indicates most of the 12 apostles were married men. Further, a celibate priesthood would have seemed very strange to Jews (who did not have a celibate priesthood). Celibacy by clergy was more of a Roman idea (some sects. Though often Roman gyrated between celibacy for some temples and wild orgies in others).

            The bottom line is the ceremonies, at there heart, are a form of group communication. And, the significance of acts can change over time. In a real way, you need to change the ceremony to preserve the original meaning. A modern example is (before mass communication) how different crowds around the world express group approval. You still see this some, but the “clap” has been spread by US driven mass media. Even so, some places whistle or buzz or make other kinds of sounds or acts of mass approval.

            Now, clapping hands will NOT have the same social significance if the act is transported verbatum to another culture. THus the ceremony would need to change to accurately (as possible) translate the meaning across these different cultures. Something similar happens to the mass and many other practices of the Church.

      • I wouldn’t have a problem with it, course the logistics would be more difficult than seated around a dining table. I knew the Romans reclined on couches to dine, but didn’t know the Hebrews followed the same fashion.

        Now that you mentioned it, I do recall hearing something about “reclining on couches” being a more accurate depiction of the last supper.

      • I decline to recline…

    • 1. returning the mass to its original form: shear fantasy, JonJ
      2. historical Jesus: a protestant work up, JonJ. We are to follow Jesus, not some historical model
      3. Seems that you’re referring to the Great Commission … There is a reason it’s called the Great Commission, to evangelize the world and disciple the nations … hopefully holy Church men and women will do that instead of what we see now which is the world making disciples out of the bishops who are not holy, otherwise the Pope would not have called them to “become holy”.

      • If I am referring to the Great Commission, I certainly don’t see it the same as you do. Simply because I made clear evangelization WITHOUT social coercion or using state force to compel obedience is the whole point.

        Using force and compelling obedience either through alliance with secular government authority or by taking over the government ends up using the bully force of the state. Generally, this has no benefit for the soul, since moral choices made under duress hardly win you points in heaven. There, the intent behind your acts is what matters, and if the reason you refrain from sin is the bully force of the state, it does not prevent stain to your soul.

        The early church had not social or legal authority. It’s evangelization is far more “pure” than using social exclusion or the power of the state to win adherents.

  29. Juergensen says:

    Perhaps the Pope considered that by resigning now and still being alive at the papal conclave, he can help hold in check the ravenous wolves?

    • Hopefully the Pope will influence the conclave … and even knock some of them off their voting seats; same as Jesus did to the merchants selling trinkets in the Temple.

  30. A retiring pope should be able to re-adjust the cardinalate … but how could this be done?

  31. Praying for our blessed Pope Benedict XVI and praying for another great Pope to be: Cardinal Burke.

  32. I had a discussion with a friend this morning about Papa’s resignation and we both could not help but wonder if his decision had anything to do with the trouble Cdl. Mahony is in. If you remember from Cdl. Mahony’s response to Archbishop Gomez (quoted below) the Cardinal had no problem with trying to drag the Archbishop through the mud with him. If there are any plans to demote the Cardinal, judging from his response to Archbishop Gomez, I doubt he will go quietly. God bless the Holy Father, I’m very sad to see him go.

    Breaking story: Cardinal Mahony responds to discipline-
    When you were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth.  You became our official Archbishop on March 1, 2011 and you were personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012—again, in which we were deemed to be in full compliance.
    Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.

    • As I’m sure all of you here know, before Pope Benedict XVI was elected Pope he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The CDF is the congregation responsible for investigating, among other things, the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and in this role I suspect the Holy Father was privy to some of the files showing how Cardinal Mahony dealt with his child molesting priests. Now, let us not forget, when the Holy Father was Prefect of the CDF, he answered (obedient) to Pope John Paul II.

      • It is said that Pope Benedict did more to clean up the molestation mess. Quite frankly, I think he timed his retirement so there were fewer so-called progressives to vote for the election of the next pope. It so, it was a very prudent move on his part.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Absolutely revolting.

    • Of course, his abdication has nothing to do with Cardinal Mahoney. He decided after his trip to Mexico that he could not continue.

  33. Some people on this board write as if B-16 died. He will still be with us and praying for the Church and the faithful in retirement. I had a dream last night that I was selected to cater his retirement reception. It was a joyous occasion celebrating his papacy.

    • Cheeseburger says:

      That sounds like a lovely dream…Pope Benedict XVI…what a magnificent and holy man…bet the food was “heavenly”…

  34. It has been reported by Catholic radio and other Catholic media that Pope Benedict has severe osteoarthritis that makes it very painful for him to kneel and serve Holy Mass. That is probably one reason he is retiring.

  35. Anton L. Seidl says:

    Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered as the one who began turning around the ship of Peter which had been headng in the wrong direction far too long. Let us be thankful for all the wonderful things he has been able to do. I no longer choke up during mass, now that all of the petty heresies that had been introduced via the novus ordo have been put right again! To say “we believe” was a constant source of dismay, as were manifold other mistranslations I was quite simply never able to accept.

  36. Wrong Jon J… the priests who were members of religious communities practiced celibacy since the advent of monastic communities within the Church, both priests and lay brothers. Furthermore, the Council of Trent established that the Tridentine rite would be the accepted modality of worship for the faithful… this is a fact without equivocation… in fact I just attended a magnificent, edifying Latin mass this morning at my parish, using my 1962 missal, complete with imprimatur from 2007.

    • Again, some may have practices it from the beginning, but the vast majority of priests in the first century were married men.

      It is only in the 4th century (305) do we even get the first solid historical evidence of the first attempts to institute some kind of clerical celibacy rule (in which married priests were told they should not have sex with their wives).

      For hundreds of years after, we see all kinds of admonitions about this, which were largely ignored in practice. I was incorrect about my 800 AD as the approximate date of celibacy becoming a formal rule. The catholic encyclopedia lists a council in 1139 as the first official pronouncement that only unmarried men should be ordained—effectively a “celibate priesthood” rule.

      As for the Council of Trent, so what? You just proved my point, that the Tridentine rite only was established WAYYY after Christ died and thus was a BREAK with tradition of 1500 years. Obviously the Council of Trent, from a Traditionalist point of view, had no respect for tradition. A later council could similarly decide to make Esperanto the official language and establish an Esperanto mass—see what chaos the Council of Trent has created? Much worse than Vatican 2.

      I’m glad you enjoyed your Tridentine mass. If it speaks to you, by all means seek it out. Why you want to force EVERYONE to conform to your tastes, I do not know.

      As for Gregorian chant, I’ll take your word and presume you’re right. Even if you are correct, it was a break with 600-odd years of musical tradition. What happens if a later Pope likes Rap music and decides to institute a rap mass? He’d have just as much right to add to a new Church musical tradition as Gregory did.

      According to your breakdown, most people would have gone to a church with:

      1) celebrated by a married priest
      2) celebrated in local majority language
      3) without Gregorian Chant as musical accompaniment

      Thus, the ceremonies you prefer were a definite break with the earliest days of the church.

  37. One more thing JonJ…Pope Saint Gregory is the father of Gregorian chant and it was adopted in the Church by the 6th century, possibly the 8th…long before the medieval time period within the Church.

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