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English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


By Brian Hews

In a stunning announcement, Pope Benedict XVI will be resigning as the head of the Roman Catholic Church “because of advanced age,” he told the Cardinals of the Catholic Church on Monday.

Benedict is 85 and will turn 86 on April 16.

The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415.

The announcement has caught Catholics around the world off guard.

In his resignation, Benedict said via Catholic Radio the following to the College of Cardnials:

“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.

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of Papal arms) An alternate version with Papal Tiara: here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Here is more about the life and service of Pope Benedict XVI from the US Catholic Bishops Conference.

  • April 16, 1927: Joseph Ratzinger born in Marktl Inn, Bavaria.
  • 1939: Enters the minor seminary in Traunstein, Germany.
  • 1943: At the age of 16, he and members of his seminary class are drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps.
  • 1945: Deserts the army and returns to Traunstein. He is briefly held by American forces in a prisoner of war camp. After his release, he re-enters the seminary.
  • 1951: Ordained into the priesthood by Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich.
  • 1953: Receives his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich with a thesis entitled “The People and House of God in St. Augistine’s Doctrine of the Church.”
  • 1959: Begins lecturing as a professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn.
  • 1962-1965: Participates in all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council as theological adviser to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne, Germany.
  • 1972: Becomes one of the co-founders of Catholic theology journal Communio.
  • 1977: Named Archbishop of Munich and Freising in March and elevated to Cardinal of Munich in June by Pope Paul VI.
  • 1981: Named Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II.
  • 1998: Named Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals.
  • 2002: Elected Dean of the College of Cardinals.
  • April 19, 2005: Cardinal Ratzinger elected as the 265th pope and chooses the name Pope Benedict XVI.
  • February 11, 2013: Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation due to “advanced age.”
  • Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope, a position in which he serves dual roles as Sovereign of the Vatican City State and leader of the Catholic Church. As Pope, he is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle.
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  • What do you think about this historical decision? Los Cerritos Community Newspaper wants to hear from Roman Catholics who live in the Southern California area. Please list the name of your Parish in your post, or send an email to me at [email protected].

  • McMahon, J. says:

    From| McMahon | 37 yr Cerritos resident |

    Isn’t that great news, Pope has resigned, first time since the 1400’s. His Orthodox Values has aided in destroying our Catholic religion. We need a new pope, which can clean house and rebuild from the bottom up & be more open minded to USA evangelistic catholic views and ways; which is Vogue in the states. The devil was working over time, when they appointed this Jerk as Pope, as just out of tune with changing world. Many catholic’s have left the church, because of his beliefs.

    Hope the new pope can repair:
    • Controversy between American Medical Assoc- vs- Popes version of medicine.
    • Allow clergy to wed.
    • Allow woman to become priests.
    • Start rebuilding US convents, schools and create stream of new clergy to manage the USA.
    • Sell the OC Pink Elephant: Crystal Cathedral $60M nightmare, which needs another $50M in deferred repairs.
    • Elect a young bishop as Pope; poss. from another sector of the world, besides Europe.
    • Start acknowledging world wide saints, instead of only European-Italian history.
    • Hope the time has come, for more fusion of churches and acknowledge the Catholic religion has become divided and start recognizing other world wide religions, as Catholic Christianity is not #1.

    Bad news. Our local Socal Catholic bishops have depleted the cemetery funds of $150M, to pay for the sex scandals.

    //jm 2/11/13