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


Obviously, more to come on this topic…

Photo: File


  1. This is a surprise for I’m sure just about everyone. Awakening early and being told this news was a shock. Thanks for posting for you confirmed what I had been told. I will be praying for the Pope and for the Church to hear the will of God on the selection of a new Pope and for the health of body and mind for Pope Benedict.

  2. IIn 2012 and 2013 Pope Benedict appointed a total of 28 new Prelates to the College of Cardinals. A few are over age 80 which makes them ineligible to vote for a successor pope. Word has it that most are conservative to ultra-conservative theologians, as is Pope Benedict. If this is an accurate statement, then we are in for a troubled time during which the spirit of Vatican II will continue to be eroded. WE NEED TO SERIOUSLY PRAY FOR; Pope Benedict as he lives out the rest of his life in peace, and for our Church that we be blessed with a successor pope who will earnestly strive to eschew internal politics and listen to his heart as well as his head.

    I respect the Tradition of our Catholic Christian Church and the Papacy. However, I believe that, under the currrent leadership, the situation in the Vatican has deteriorated in many areas. Decisions have been made that have seriously affected ecclesiastical matters such as ignoring or continuing the cover up of certain instances of clerical sexual abuse of children, the freedom of speech and outright harassment of women in religious orders, the refusal to even consider the question of women deacons (who served in the early days of the church), and mis-use of Vatican funds, to name a few.

    All Christian churches are experiencing a continuing decline in their membership. There are demographic, cultural, and other reasons for this to be sure. But much of the reason within the Catholic church can be attributed to all or some of the reasons cited above.
    This, according to various opinion polls among Catholics.

    Sometimes I feel embarrassed for my Church when I see:
    the “princes” of the Church dressed in rich attire; wearing expensive jewelry; many living in opulant houses; driving, or being chaufferred in, expensive cars; dining in four-star restaurants, etc., etc.

    Why do I feel this sense of embarrassment? Because I read and study the Gospels. They tell me about THE ONE – a man called Jesus, the Son of God, God Incarnate, a man who walked the earth for over 30 years clad in a seamless homespun garment. A man who did not always have a place to sleep at night, who claimed among his friends those on the fringes of society – the “nothing” people, those who did not registger on the social scale of that time–the same as the poor, hungry, homeless, drug- and sexually-addicted , ignored people in our society today.

    The ONE who was persecuted by the religious leaders of His time who handed Him over to the occupying government to be judged and sentenced to a painful, ignominious death. The ONE who was nailed to a cross as a criminal. The ONE who suffocated and bled to death for US so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him.

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