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Pope Benedict XVI to Resign from Office?

Posted in The Papal Watcher with tags , , , on February 11, 2013 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

POPE-popupAccording to early EST morning wire service reports, it appears as though Pope Benedict XVI is planning to resign, making him the first pope in modern history to make such a move. Reuters reports:

ROME, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfil the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.

The 85-year-old pope said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months “to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil 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,” he said according to a statement from the Vatican.

A Vatican spokesman said the pontiff would step down from 1900 GMT on Feb. 28, leaving the office vacant until a successor is chosen.

According to Vatican Radio’s website, here is the full text of the Pope’s address.

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

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

Obviously, more to come on this topic…

Photo: File

The Full English Translation of Cardinal Martini’s Last Interview

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 4, 2012 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

A lot of folks have been talking about the last interview given by the late Cardinal Martini. The Reuters news service article, previously cited in a post here at DatingGod.org (“Labor Day: The Work to be Done in the Church“), did not include a full translation of the original Italian publication of the interview. Fortunately, Fr. Joseph Komonchak, emeritus professor of theology at Catholic University, offers readers a full English translation (thanks to the dotCommonweal blog). The interview begins:

How do you see the situation of the Church?

The Church is tired, in prosperous Europe and in America. Our culture is out of date; our Churches are big; our religious houses are empty, and the Church’s bureaucratic apparatus is growing, and our rites and our vestments are pompous. Do such things really express what we are today? … Prosperity weighs us down. We find ourselves like the rich young man who went away sad when Jesus called him to become his disciple. I know that it’s not easy to leave everything behind. At least could we seek people who are free and closer to their neighbors, as Bishop Romero was and the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador? Where among us are heroes to inspire us? We must never limit them by institutional bonds.

Who can help the Church today?

Fr. Karl Rahner liked to use the image of embers hidden under ashes. I see in the Church today so many ashes above the enbers that I’m often assailed by a sense of powerlessness. How can the embers be freed from the ashes in order to rekindle the flame of love? First of all, we have to look for those embers. Where are the individuals full of generosity, like the Good Samaritan? Who have faith like that of the Roman centurion? Who are as enthusiastic as John the Baptist? Who dare new things, as Paul did? Who are faithful as Mary Magdalene was? I advise the Pope and the bishops to look for twelve people outside the lines for administrative posts [posti direzionali]–people who are close to the poorest and who are surrounded by young people and are trying out new things. We need that comparison with people who are on fire so that the spirit can spread everywhere.

To read the entire interview, here is a PDF edition of the text.

Photo: File
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