Pope Benedict XVI to resign
Pope Benedict shocks the world by saying he no longer has the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry.
forthe 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
by Reuters: Mark Kolmar on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Pope Benedict XVI attends a Mass celebrating the 200th anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries at St. Peter's Basilica December 12, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer from a window of his private apartment, as a gust of wind blows a cloth, at the Vatican February 28, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Pope Benedict XVI leaves in his popemobile after blessing the traditional Crib in St Peter's square at the end of the Te Deum prayer in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican December 31, 2009. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Pope Benedict XVI looks on during a mass at Antonio Maceo square in Santiago de Cuba March 26, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during Angelus prayer from his summer residence, in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome August 20, 2006. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Pope Benedict XVI leaves Lambeth Palace in the Popemobile in London September 17, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Pope Benedict XVI holds his cross as he leads a solemn mass in Zagreb June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianch
by Eric Martyn on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM
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Mission Accomplished Your Holiness. Thank you for your holy, virtuous and heroic service to the one true church that was put upon this Earth. Thank you Your Holiness for courageously speaking out against the threats of our time. Thank you for completing the reform of the reform that was started at the Second Vatican Council, continued under John Paul II and moved forward by you. Thank you for bringing the church forward to worship with one universal prayer at the Holy Mass. May God bless you and give you a full foretaste of the joys of Heaven, through the Holy Eucharist, in your humility and your holiness.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued this statement:
The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.
Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, Spain and Brazil.
He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.
Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.
He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.
He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.
Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world.
@Reuters:MarkKolmar Don't get your hopes up for that one. I understand what it would mean to have an American be a pope, but it's just not going to happen.
I don't care what charity he works, it doesn't fall in line with papal prophecy.
Benedict: A conservative whose papacy was dogged by scandal
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY, Feb 11 (Reuters) - - Pope Benedict was cheered by conservatives for trying to reaffirm traditional Catholic identity but liberals accused him of turning back the clock on reforms and hurting dialogue with Muslims, Jews and other Christians.
I have one Holy Father & He never has mind or body issues!!!!!
pope is leaving and another man will be called father but dont forget that there is only one father and king for all humans who are killing each other lead by humans.....men;called leaders,kings,generals and fathers.It happened this rebellion for 10000 years but the question is for how long will continue
Your honesty will be remembered.you were faithful to God and people and you will remain our beloved pope
Did mediaeval predecessor inspire Pope's retirement?
Pope Benedict XVI gazed out on the crowd packing the piazza of a small Italian town. Below him lay the bones of Celestine V, the last pontiff to choose to retire; above rose sunlit crags where the "hermit pope" took refuge from a troubled mediaeval world.
A few weeks after that visit in July 2010 to Sulmona, in the Abruzzo mountains, the then 83-year-old Benedict told a fellow German he would not hesitate to become the first pope since Celestine in 1294 to resign of his own free will, if he was no longer able - "physically, psychologically and spiritually" - to meet the demands of running the billion-strong Catholic Church.
Did the example of Celestine's "Great Refusal" inspire his ageing successor to consider the alternative to death in office?
The working day Benedict spent in Sulmona, on July 4, 2010, was part of a typically busy schedule for the leader of one of the world's great faiths; he met hundreds of people and said mass for the 800th birthday of Pietro Angelerio, a monk who lived in local caves before and after his five troubled months as Pope Celestine V during a conflict between Church factions.
Some of Benedict's words that day may in retrospect betray a sense of weariness and a longing for a cloistered retirement.
In a homily to the crowd of 10,000 in the main square, he said: "A beautiful expression of St. Paul ... is also a perfect spiritual portrait of St. Peter Celestine: 'Far be it from me to glory, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.'"
Read more from Reuters correspondent Alastair Macdonald
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