Rorate Caeli

Pope speaks about his resignation

Before the General Audience today:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you know, I have decided – thank you for your kindness – to renounce the ministry which the Lord entrusted to me on 19 April 2005. I have done this in full freedom for the good of the Church, after much prayer and having examined my conscience before God, knowing full well the seriousness of this act, but also realizing that I am no longer able to carry out the Petrine ministry with the strength which it demands. I am strengthened and reassured by the certainty that the Church is Christ’s, who will never leave her without his guidance and care. I thank all of you for the love and for the prayers with which you have accompanied me. Thank you; in these days which have not been easy for me, I have felt almost physically the power of prayer – your prayers – which the love of the Church has given me. Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future Pope. The Lord will guide us.

22 comments:

Prof. Basto said...

In the traditionalist Portuguese language blog "Fratres in unum", I read the first confirmation of my fears.

For those who are Portuguese speakers, here is the permalink: http://fratresinunum.com/2013/02/12/cardeal-patriarca-de-lisboa-historica-decisao-de-bento-xvi-acaba-com-tabu-de-que-o-papa-era-intocavel/

According to this news, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, says that Pope Benedict's decision "ends the taboo according to which the pope was untoucheable". He is also quoted as saying that "Popes will be much more free after this historical gesture by Benedict XVI" and he says that the decision to resign "fits into the spirit of renewal promoted" by the Second Vatican Council. The Cardinal states that "Until the Second Vatican Council, we lived in a civil and ecclesiastical context in which the great offices were for life: princes and kings, superior generals of religious orders, diocesan bishops", he recalled .

Thus, there you have it, one prince of the Church who is already saying that this abdication is guided by the spirit of Vatican II, that it is one more step in the "renewal" of the Church promoted by that Council, that the lifelong character of the papacy is no longer untoucheable, and that the context in which offices are held for life is over.

Banshee said...

Given that some people think that Jesus Christ and His Gospel opened up the door to any kind of idiocy or wickedness they care to promulgate, why do you expect that merely human acts would be received any more wisely?

If people are determined to think stupid things, they have the free will to do it.

Benedict Carter said...

Prof Basto:

The patriarch is of course the man who after the motu proprio circulated a letter (of which I have a copy) to all the priests of his diocese effectively banning them under pain of punishment from offering the Old Mass.

He is in favour of priestesses too.

Matt said...

There is such a pattern of consistency with these people (liberals/modernists) in their agendas whether in the political sphere or Vatican II, they come across as that duped, that self-aggrandized there is total disconnect with reality in their thinking. The scary part about it is they really could be nefarious in their efforts against the Church and hiding behind Vatican II as their manifesto.

Prof. Basto said...

Benedict Carter,

And yet the 76 years old Cardinal Patriarch José Policarpo is still at the helm of the Archdiocese of Lisbon, of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, and he is an elector of the next Roman Pontiff.

So, he may be a man who is a liberal and who tried to block the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but, given his positions of leadership in the Church (from which he was not removed) his opinions are relevant.

And they only serve to show that the liberals are going to attempt to exploit this resignation as a means of subtly altering the functioning of the supreme authority of the Church.

They will promote the idea that future popes, when they are ill or old, should follow the example of Benedict XVI and quit, and they will perhaps even argue for a canonical change, whereby the Pope would either be elected to serve a defined term of years, or would have a fixed retirement age. The consequence being, that once the Pope is elected, you already know when his term will end.

And just like in the wake of the Second Vatican Council Canon Law was reformed with the introdution of the retirement age for Bishops (who in the past were expected to serve for life), with the creation of the title of Bishop emeritus, this Cardinal is already arguing that, in the spirit of Vatican II, the same thing should apply to the Papacy, because lifelong offices are foreign to our modern age.

And indeed Benedict XVI's resignation will be used as a precedent by all those who wish to undermine the monarchical nature of the Roman Pontificate.

Joao said...

Benedict Carter,

The Patriarch of Lisbon did write that letter, which is still available at the Patriarcado's official website and also defended women ordination.

But he retracted his words in favor of priestesses after he was summoned to the Vatican where he had a "very pleasant" chat with high ranking cardinals (that's how it was described by his people).

FWIW.

Gratias said...

I as very sad to see this great Pope go. Thank you for eight years of teachings.

Zak said...

Your realize what he is saying and acting upon here is the conviction that trust in mere human power and mind is incapable of addressing the situation in which we find ourselves.

Since he did this with the explicit intention to trust the power of Christ INSTEAD of his own power, he has effectively reversed the presumption on merely human power that is THE sin of the clergy in the last hundred years.

Now that the visible head has admitted the futility of human power, Christ has finally been let back into the topmost level of visible Christian government.

What happens next may not be pretty. There's no telling what Christ will have to permit in order to expel the demons.

Keep praying and trust in Him alone.

--Zak

Barbara said...

Prof. Basto,

"They" only THINK they are winning.

They won't. We have Our Lord's words.

I have some fear and trepidation too about all of this, but I have to trust that Pope Benedict knows what he is doing and that his abdication is truly for the good of the Church and not to ruin the Papacy. I don't beleive that for a moment.

We may have the most wonderful of surprises from the next conclave.

Our Lord and His Mother are in charge.

Miles said...

The Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon is publicly defending that the next Pope must be younger and from Asia. Just for this time, I agree with His Eminence. May the Holy Spirit fulfill such wish ;-)

http://www.publico.pt/sociedade/noticia/d-jose-policarpo-reconhece-dificuldades-do-papa-em-governar-a-igreja-1584230

Anonymous said...

God bless Pope Benedict. I understand he did this only after much prayer and discernment, but what really troubles me is the fact that, if the Pope's energies were so sapped that his going on as Pontiff would have damaged the Church, well, God can certainly do something about that. He's the Lord of Life and of Death and everything in between. I just don't know if I really "get" what it signifies for the Pope to just assume that God would let him carry on willy-nilly to the detriment of the Church...

-Alexis

Athelstane said...

The Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon is publicly defending that the next Pope must be younger and from Asia. Just for this time, I agree with His Eminence. May the Holy Spirit fulfill such wish ;-)

I do believe that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is indeed from Asia. And that he is a good 20 years younger than the Holy Father.

That works for me.

Be careful what you wish for, Your Eminence. You just might get it.

J.G. Ratkaj, Salvador da Bahia said...

Where is the belief in divine providence and leadership of the holy ghost? There have been innumerable pontiffs with very delicate state of health, some even blind and in bedridden state for years and it did not harm the church and the structures of the church remained intact.
The abdication of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI may constitute a fatal precedent. It demystifies the petrine office and may strenghten the ongoing self-secularization of the church. The supreme pontiff as an manager or president who has to "resign" if he shows signs of mental or physical decline or is already not able to attend a plane journey overseas.

Prof. Basto said...

Miles,

While you may be thinking Ranjith, it is probable that His Eminence is thinking Tagle.

Be careful what you whish for.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

While Benedict XVI's resignation does indeed play to the modernist concept of "ministries" that may be abandoned, the argument in favor of a pope now abdicating because of physical incapacity can be made because of two relatively recent developments:

(1) Formerly, a sick or physically weak pope would waste away and die rather quickly. The miracles of modern medicine can now keep someone like this physically alive for long periods of time, during which his mental state could easily diminish. Those of us who have dealt with older parents are familiar with how pronounced this mental deterioration can be. It the case of a pope, it would be a recipe for disaster.

(2) John Paul II turned the office into a media superstar role carried out regularly on the world stage before the unblinking and unforgiving eye of the television camera. When he became really ill but continued to function in public, he looked like a complete wreck, drooling and gaga, It is understandable that Benedict, having followed the media superstar paradigm so far, would want to avoid such a fate for himself in his last days.

So, while I can indeed understand the dangers of the precedent, I think that there are strong arguments in favor of what he did.

Jay said...

I thought it was a rumour but actually Daily Mail really posted a picture of lightening striking St Peter's Basilica on the day of Pope Benedict retirement anouncements:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276884/Pope-Benedict-XVI-resigns-First-Pontiff-600-years-stand-longer-strength-carry-on.html

They speculate it could be a sigh from Heaven?

Jay said...

sorry, it should be 'sign' from Heaven!

Tom said...

Anonymous said..."God bless Pope Benedict. I understand he did this only after much prayer and discernment, but what really troubles me is the fact that, if the Pope's energies were so sapped that his going on as Pontiff would have damaged the Church, well, God can certainly do something about that."

Alexis, His Holiness gave considerable thought and prayer to his decision whether to abdicate. Therefore, perhaps God did something, after all.

It is possible that God inspired Pope Benedict XVI's decision in question.

Pax.

Tom

Tom said...

J.G. Ratkaj, Salvador da Bahia said..."There have been innumerable pontiffs with very delicate state of health, some even blind and in bedridden state for years and it did not harm the church and the structures of the church remained intact."

I believe that liberals, conservatives, modernists, Traditionalists and informed non-Catholics — everybody, that is — agreed that the final few years of Pope Venerable John Paul II's Papacy, and in turn, the state of the Church, suffered tremendously as the result of said Pope's pronounced physical decline.

Our hearts went out to Pope Venerable John Paul II as he experienced, in more ways than physical, great suffering.

We also knew that his ability to confront the Church's massive problems, particularly the bishop-priest sexual assault scandal(s), had been compromised.

Tom

Tom said...

"John Paul II turned the office into a media superstar role carried out regularly on the world stage before the unblinking and unforgiving eye of the television camera."

The media, whose moguls and reporters, overall, despised Pope Venerable John Paul II's faith, employed their power to present him as a superstar.

Yes, Pope Venerable John Paul II was a superstar — a superstar who used the world stage to promote God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Ghost and the Culture of Life.

Assisi I, for example, constituted one of the Pope's most colossal, if you will, "superstar" appearances.

At Assisi I, Pope Venerable John Paul II used that massive stage to promclaim to the world that Jesus Christ is the only True Peace. The Pope also informed the world that day that the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ's True Church.

Throughout his reign, "superstar" Pope Venerable John Paul II promoted the Papacy and its unbreakable link to Saint Peter (example: Ut Unum Sint).

He promoted the teaching that God wills that true unity with God is found only when churches (and separated communities) enter into communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Venerable John Paul II promoted the Culture of Life, condemned the Culture of Death (sin, artificial birth control, abortion, euthanasia, evil entertainment...

God, Catholic Church, Culture of life...yes, Pope Venerable John Paul II was a superstar who pointed the world to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.

Tom

Mar said...

Jay, I like the sigh from Heaven better :)

Jay said...

Mar said:
"Jay, I like the sigh from Heaven better :)"

Mar, I agree! It was a typo but maybe for a reason...