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The Pope Resigns: What Do You Think?

Pontiff, 85, will step down Feb. 28 as bishop of Rome; his name will revert to Joseph Ratzinger.

As reported by The Associated Press, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced his resignation before cardinals at a ceremony to name three new saints.

According to a post on Poynter.org:

Many news organizations have reported that Pope Gregory XII was the last leader of the Roman Catholic Church to resign, in 1415. However, in this clip NBC Vatican analyst George Weigel says it’s been “717 years” since the last pope abdicated, by which he probably means Celestine V, who resigned 719 years ago, in 1294.

Gregory was not the pope for whom was named the Gregorian calendar (that was Gregory XIII) or Gregorian chant (Gregory the Great or Gregory II, opinions differ). XII resigned so the church could unite under a single pope after a schism. He died in 1417. Here’s some background on papal resignations.

Here is the pope's announcement. It has been translated into English:

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.

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Michael February 12, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Every church organization has problems with men/people running them- the Liberal media has always loved pounding on Catholics because it's so easy to influence people like you. Catholic charities in the US do more good than just about any organization. The Church has an AWESOME history- but I wish they would go back to their roots. The Moslems are spreading their culture of death around the world- it would be great if there was a counter force to this like the Crusades. The USA used to lead the world, but you can forget about that now- Ronald Reagan is long gone.
bryce February 15, 2013 at 03:06 AM
VOV: the moral standard!? There's only one standard I use: " do unto others...." (Period) I know right from wrong, & yes, VOV, I know all not ALL Catholics are totally twisted (duh) - but from way, way out in the larger picture, im coming at this thinking the WHOLE thing is flawed, & sick- Its just one variety of a broader, more unappealing handicap that is religion as whole. Its ALL the same bag, (muslims, christians, & all the rest) - when you stop quibbling over who " believes" this & that, & deprogram from ALL that crap! But I know you're gonna tell me how much good they do..& pull the cozy wool back over your eyes. When you 'pray' ...you are 'prey'. I'm good without, thanks. (PS: yes, I am catholic bashing, they already get more respect than they deserve. And if u think that's bad, ....i should tell ya what I think about scientologist & Mormons.... They actually have Catholics beat in the psycho-sick-o category.)
bryce February 15, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Michael W. : Are you outta your mind !? An "awesome history" !?? you're post is mind numbing- where exactly are you getting your facts about this ??? • Ahem!!!! (LOL) ...let me guess, ...the bible!/? ....hahahahaaahee!!!!!! (get it? its a joke, like your rose colored glasses)
Michael February 15, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I was referring to the Crusades where they freed Spain/Europe and other areas from Moslem tyranny. I imagine you think living under Sharia Law is paradise.
bryce February 16, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Hmmm.... Ok, so you can add that one to the "plus" category... I'll give ya that. I hate them outright, but can objectively add some other ones to to their credit as well (service deeds that were as recent as the 20th century in fact) - but whenever I tally both column, somehow the negative, reprehensible category manages to FAR & wide dwarf all the "good they do (or have done)". - AND when it comes to social issues...they have been almost ALWAYS wrong.

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