Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Stepping Down on February 28

I woke up to unbelievable news this morning. Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down as Pope on February 28. He has mentioned in the past that he might do this, so we shouldn't be taken totally by surprised.


Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced he will resign on February 28, a Vatican spokesman said.
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced he will resign on February 28, a Vatican spokesman said.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.
``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,'' he told the cardinals. ``I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiriual nature, must be carried out not only by 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 StPeter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary _ strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately the ministry entrusted to me.'' 
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants. 
Benedict called his choice ``a decision of great importance for the life of the church.'' 
The move sets the stage for the Vatican to hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn't have to be observed. 
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner as was the case when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.

I have great affection, admiration and respect for our Holy Father, and I have no doubt that he made this decision after much prayer.  It seems to me that he wants very much to be part of the election of his successor.  This would also seem to point to the gravity of the times in which we live in that the Holy Father feels that the one who sits in the Chair of Peter must have both strength of mind and body to deal with all of the challenges facing the Catholic church today.

For whatever it's worth, and that is basically nothing, I am pulling for Cardinal Raymond Burke as our next Holy Father.  

Cardinal Raymond Burke


  1. One of my first thoughts also after the initial shock and sadness that our Holy Father is abdicating....Cardinal Burke!

    1. Cardinal Burke is not on any of the "lists" which are being circulated, but the Holy Spirit is the one who decides this, not the talking heads. So we can remain hopeful!


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