Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign from his duties as Pope on February 28th, 2013.
The full text of the Pope's announcement follows. Please revisit this page for more details. A press conference will be held in minutes at the Vatican press office.
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
"Pope Benedict XVI has truly been a Holy Father to the family of God, his Catholic Church. His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the Church. This is the act of a saint, who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God’s people.
I have great affection for this Pope. In my opinion, he is one of the wisest persons in our world today. I try to learn every day from his words and example. I received my Archbishop’s pallium twice from him and I will always be grateful that he chose me to be the Archbishop of Los Angeles.
Let us thank God today for the love and witness of Pope Benedict XVI. Let us entrust him to our Blessed Mother Mary and pray that he will continue to have joy and peace and many more years for prayer and reflection."
-Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles
Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany and Spain.
He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.
Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.
He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.
He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.
Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world."
-Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and President of the USCCB
Audio Interview: http://www.archny.org/media/audio-clips/02.11.13_PopeResignation.mp3
"The announcement by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, that for reasons of advanced age he has decided to retire from his service as Supreme Pontiff is yet another proof of his total dedication to the Church of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. One of the most distinguished theologians of our time and a pastor of souls who has given himself to the People of God with unlimited commitment, he and his distinguished leadership will be sorely missed.
When I was consecrated a bishop, in Rome in 1985, the Holy Father, at that time Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, kindly participated in the liturgy; and when I left Rome to travel to New York two months later, he returned to the Eternal City from a spiritual retreat to wish me well and assure me of his prayers. Thus it is that I have just written him a warm, filial, letter to profess my unlimited loyalty and promise to keep him in my Masses and prayers throughout the years that lie ahead."
-Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York
VATICAN CITY, February 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation of the See of Rome today during a consistory during which three canonizations were also announced.
In his statement to the cardinals present at the consistory, the Holy Father said: "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 onlywith words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering," Pope Benedict XVI told the cardinals at the consistory.
He continued: "However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in orderto govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body arenecessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I havehad to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
Recognizing the seriousness of his ministry, Pope Benedict announced that on February 28th, at 8:00pm, the See of Saint Peter will be vacant. A Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff will then be convoked.
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his statement by thanking the Cardinals for "all the love and work" with which they have supported him during his ministry, and "asking pardon for all my defects."
Pope Benedict concluded: "And now, let us entrust theHoly Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holyMother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electinga new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Churchof God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."
A conscious, personal decision
Addressing journalists at the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Lombardi stated that for several months the Holy Father has contemplated this decision. When asked by one journalist if the Pope was saddened by his impending retirement, Fr. Lombardi stated that the Holy Father has experienced a "spiritual serenity in front of this retirement."
Fr. Lombardi also confirmed that there is no particular ailment affecting Pope Benedict XVI. "There is no specific sickness or ailment that is affecting the Holy Father at this time," Fr. Lombardi said.
"He has recognized in the last few months with lucidity that his strength was weakening."
The decision to resign from the See of Rome"was a personal decision," Fr. Lombardi continued. "I don't believe that anyone has suggested this to him. This was a conscious decision that he made."
The new Supreme Pontiff is expected to be elected in time for Easter. As for Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Lombardi stated that after he vacates the See of Rome, he will retire to a cloistered monastery within the Vatican.
THANK YOU LORD FOR THE EIGHT WONDERFUL YEARS YOU GAVE US
POPE BENEDICT XVI!
Pray together for the Holy Father!
Pray together for the Holy Father!
What an amazing show of humility the Holy Father has given to us.
This is truly the act of a saint.
Let us stay united, we love Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus is in charge of His flock, and He will lead us; whatever happens!
VIVA CRISTO REY! LONG LIVE CHRIST THE KING!
VIVA NUESTRA SENORA DE GUADALUPE! LONG LIVE OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
VIVA EL PAPA! LONG LIVE THE POPE