Archive for vatican radio

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


Obviously, more to come on this topic…

Photo: File

A Weird Theology Award: ‘The Ratzinger Prizes in Theology’

Posted in The Papal Watcher, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 14, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

I cannot make this sort of thing up, and thankfully Vatican Radio has reported the story to back me up on this. This year marks the first awarding of the “Ratzinger Prize in Theology.” What makes this award weird is that it is granted by Pope Benedict XVI, who, of course, is also Joseph Ratzinger for whom the prize is named. Furthermore, it is a prize awarded to the theologian or theologians who have worked on the Pope’s own theology. “The prize was established last year to promote theological studies on the writings of the Pope, and to reward promising scholars,” reports Vatican Radio. While the citation seems to suggest that this is geared toward recognizing younger scholars who have studies the Pope’s work, the ages of the first three recipients are 50, 77 and 85 — hardly “promising scholars” and more like seasoned veterans.

While I laugh at the seeming silliness of an award given by the Pope, named for the Pope and awarded for work on the Pope’s thought, what really gets me is the line by Cardinal Ruini, who said, “he hoped they would someday be viewed as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Theology.”

All this said, if the Holy Father decided to give me this prize, I suppose I would likely change my view on the matter. I doubt that will happen any time soon. Here’s the full story from Vatican Radio.

Winners of first 3 Ratzinger Prizes in theology

The first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were announced on Tuesday in the Vatican Press Office. The prize was established last year to promote theological studies on the writings of the Pope, and to reward promising scholars. The prizes will be given out by Pope Benedict on June 30th.

The Ratzinger Prize is a project of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, which was funded by Pope Benedict with the royalties he has received from his books.

The prizes and the conferences the foundation sponsors focus on helping the truth, meaning and beauty of Christianity in relation to today’s culture and society emerge.

On Tuesday, the first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were announced.

Manlio Simonetti, the 85 year old expert on the Church Fathers, who is a retired professor from Rome’s “La Sapienza” University, as well as a noted lecturer at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum.

Olegario González de Cardedal, the 77 year old Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University of Salamanca-

Maximilian Heim, O.Cist., the 50 year old professor of of dogmatic and fundamental theology (ecclesiology) at the University of Heiligenkreuz, whose focus has been on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger.

During the presentation, the President of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, said the committee decided to award the prizes to two well-established scholars, as well as one whom he called “relatively young, but very promising.”

He said this year’s awards covered the areas of patristics, and dogmatic and fundamental theology, but added he hoped future awards would be given in the area of Sacred Scripture. Last year, when the awards were being announced, Cardinal Ruini said he hoped they would someday be viewed as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Theology.

Photo: Pool

Pope Focuses 2012 World Day of Peace on Youth, Justice and Peace

Posted in The Papal Watcher with tags , , , on May 22, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

The Vatican announced this week that Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated the 2012 World Day of Peace — January 1st, 2012 — to young people, with a special emphasis on the theme of social justice and peace. This is particularly timely in light of what has increasingly been termed the “Arab Spring” in Northern Africa and the Middle East, most notably in the peaceful protests and power transitions in Tunisia and Egypt. Young people played an especially pivotal role, engaging in new and developing forms of communication, technology and social media to help unify people and spread the message of nonviolent protest. The nexus of young adults, technology and Christian peacemaking in the form of nonviolence provides an excellent theme for the start of the next year and the focus of the World Day of Peace.

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the following theme for the celebration of the 45th World Day of Peace of January 1, 2012: “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace”. The theme engages an urgent need in the world today: to listen to and enhance the important role of new generations in the realization of the common good, and in the affirmation of a just and peaceful social order where fundamental human rights can be fully expressed and realized.

In fact, there is a duty incumbent upon the present generation to prepare future ones, and creating for them the conditions that will allow these future generations to express freely and responsibly the urgency for a “new world.” The Church welcomes young people and sees them as the sign of an ever promising springtime, and holds out Jesus to them as the model of love who “makes all things new” (Ap. 21,5).

Those responsible for public policy are called to work for the creation of institutions, laws and environments of life that are permeated by a transcendent humanism that offers new generations opportunities to fully realize themselves (e.g. decent job, education etc.) and to build a civilization of fraternal love directed toward a more profound awareness of truth, freedom, of love and of justice for all persons.

Photo: Vatican Pool
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