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Penance! Penance! Penance!

In a society which is barely conscious of the ills which assail it, which conceals its miseries and injustices beneath a prosperous, glittering, and trouble-free exterior, the Immaculate Virgin, whom sin has never touched, manifests herself to an innocent child. With a mother's compassion she looks upon this world redeemed by her Son's blood, where sin accomplishes so much ruin daily, and three times makes her urgent appeal: "Penance, penance, penance!" She even appeals for outward expressions: "Go kiss the earth in penance for sinners." And to this gesture must be added a prayer: "Pray to God for sinners."
As in the days of John the Baptist, as at the start of Jesus' ministry, this command, strong and rigorous, shows men the way which leads back to God: "Repent!" Who would dare to say that this appeal for the conversion of hearts is untimely today? Pius XII Le pèlerinage de Lourdes July 2, 1957
Penance for ourselves. Penance for the o…

Rome, February 28, 2013, 8 PM

The See is vacant.

The last public words as Pope

From the balcony at Castel Gandolfo:


"Thank you, thank you from my heart. I am happy to be here with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your friendship that does me so much good, thank you for your friendship, for caring. You know that today is different from others… as of eight pm I will no longer be the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. I will simply be a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his pilgrimage on earth. But with my heart, my love, my prayer, with all my inner strength, I will work for the common good and the good of the Church and all humanity. And I feel greatly supported by your affection. Let us move forward together with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. I will now impart upon you all my Apostolic Blessing
Thank you and good night. Thank you all"!

The balcony is now empty. In two hours, as the February 10/11, 2013, declaration of renunciation enters into force, the Roman See will be vacant.

Above Rome for the last time as Bishop of the City

Benedictus vir qui confidit in Domino:
Gratitude to God for the hated and despised
Pope of Summorum Pontificum

Benedictus vir, qui confidit in Domino, et erit Dominus fiducia eius. Et erit quasi lignum, quod transplantatur super aquas, quod ad humorem mittit radices suas: et non timebit, cum venerit æstus. Et erit folium eius viride, et in tempore siccitatis non erit sollicitum, nec aliquando de sinet facere fructum.(From the Lesson of the Mass of Thursday following the Second Sunday in Lent: "Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.")

Please, Pope Weigel, resign from your Pontificate

"Not the 'Küng left', not the 'schismatic Lefebvrist hard-right', but I, the virtuous via media, hold the keys to authentic Evangelical Catholic reform, as I explain in my book, available in bookstores everywhere - just $ 9.99!," thus saith Supreme Pontiff Weigel descending from Mount Manhattan.
Can't Pope Weigel at least wait till the conclave is assembled to put forward his candidacy? Can't he at least wait till 8PM Rome time today to proclaim his declarations of apostasy and schism?... 
The lack of restraint from those who wish to "frame" the next pontificate is astounding. Küng has tried it, Weigel, still not fully recovered from the end of the Wojtyla pontificate, is trying it as well. As for the "schismatic Lefebvrists", their only program seems to be this novena for the election of the Sovereign Pontiff, starting tomorrow. Now, which of these programs seems to be the truly Catholic one?

Final address: to the College of Cardinals
"I vow unconditional reverence and obedience to the future Pope"

Dear beloved brothers
I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence, from my heart.
And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord. As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people who filled St. Peter's Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry. In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky. We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry. We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path. Together we can thank the Lord who has helped…

Final Audience: "I am not abandoning the Cross"

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood! Distinguished Authorities! Dear brothers and sisters!
Thank you for coming in such large numbers in this last General Audience of my pontificate.
As the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I feel in my heart to have to especially thank God that guides and builds up the Church, which is sowing his Word and thus nourishes the faith in his people. At this moment my heart expands to embrace the whole Church throughout the world, and I thank God for the “news” that in recent years the Petrine ministry I could receive about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love that circulates in the body of the Church and to live in love, and hope that it opens and directs us towards the fullness of life, towards the heavenly homeland.
I feel I bring all in prayer, in a present that is of God, where I collect every meeting, every trip, every pastoral visit. Everything and everyone gather in prayer to entrust them to the Lord, b…

Final 401 § 2 cases:

At least in this pontificate. Of course, there could be a few left for tomorrow, and even some signed but still to be published.
The Holy Father accepted today: - the resignation to the pastoral government of the Archbishop of Liverpool, Patrick Altham Kelly, according to can. 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law [the second Archbishop in Britain in 48 hours]; - the resignation of the Auxiliary of Armagh, Bishop Gerard Clifford, according to canons 411 and 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law. [Source: Bollettino]
One in Scotland, one in England, one (partly) in Northern Ireland.

Spanish Bishops show error in German abortifacient-friendly decision
And the dangers of weakening the Roman Curia
in favor of Conferences of Bishops

Some malicious news sources are saying today that "the Spanish bishops" have "followed the lead" of the German Bishops and authorized the use of the "morning-after pill" in case of rape.
But that is not at all what happened. First, of course, it was not "the Spanish Bishops", but the secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Bishop Juan Antonio Martínez Camino. Second, this is what he said, with clear irony regarding the abortifacient-friendly bishops of Germany, and it makes a world of difference:
"If there is a pill that prevents that there be a conception in cases of rape, then it is licit to prevent it." [However,] "We have no knowledge of a morning-after pill without abortifacient effects. If it does exist, it may be used, with the doctrine we have." "If it does exist, we will be sure to know it .... all morning-after pills have this possible abortive effect. Therefore, its use is illicit. If it does exist in G…

From Marcellus II to Benedict XVI and Beyond

A Personal Reflection on Two Eras of Crisis, Sorrow, and Rage
Dr. John C. Rao

“The right tactic for us is to be visibly and always what we are, nothing more, nothing less. We defend a citadel which cannot be taken except when the garrison itself brings in the enemy. Combating with our own arms, we only receive minor wounds. All borrowed armor troubles us and often chokes us.” (L.Veuillot, Mélanges, Oeuvres completes, iii series, 1933, v, 276).
The 2012-2013 Roman Forum Church History series in New York City covers the years from 1517-1563, a time both of terrible crisis in the life of Christendom as well as one of extraordinary hope for the future. Extending from the emergence of Martin Luther onto the public scene until the end of the Council of Trent, these forty-six years placed enormous burdens on the faith of the Christian population, repeatedly arousing profound sorrow and rage in its ranks.
Think, for a moment, of the life of a fervent, believing Catholic just reaching manhood in 1…

Vatileaks - final chapter in this pontificate

The Holy Father received in audience this morning Cardinals Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko, and Salvatore De Giorgi, who formed the commission to investigate the leaks of private information. They were accompanied by the commission’s secretary, Fr. Luigi Martignani, O.F.M., Cap.
At the conclusion of their mission, the Holy Father thanked them for the helpful work they did, and expressed satisfaction for the results of the investigation. Their work made it possible to detect, given the limitations and imperfections of the human factor of every institution, the generosity and dedication of those who work with uprightness and generosity in the Holy See at the service of the mission entrusted by Christ to the Roman Pontiff.
The Holy Father has decided that the acts of this investigation, known only to himself, remain solely at the disposition of the new pope.
[Holy See Press Office]

Apostolic Letter given "motu proprio" Normas nonnullas,
on some modifications of the norms concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff

__________________ APOSTOLIC LETTER
GIVEN MOTU PROPRIO
NORMAS NONNULLAS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVI on some modifications of the norms  concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff __________________ [Latin typical text following this translation]
With the Apostolic Letter 'De aliquibus mutationibus in normis de electione Romani Pontificis' given Motu Proprio in Rome on 11 June 2007 in the third year of my pontificate, I established some norms that, rescinding those prescribed in n. 75 of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici Gregis' promulgated by my predecessor Blessed John Paul II, having reestablished the regulation, sanctioned by tradition, according to which a two thirds majority of the votes of the Cardinal electors present is always required for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff.
Considering the importance of ensuring the best implementation of what is concerned, albeit with a different significance, regarding the election of the Roman Pontiff, in p…

The Electors - Update:
Cardinal O'Brien resigns and will miss the Conclave

Well, following years of being attacked by the media for defending the only possible concept of marriage, being the new sweetheart of the British press lasted for only a couple of days for Cardinal O'Brien, who resigned today following allegations of inappropriate behavior and is not going to the Conclave anymore.  (Bollettino publication)
Yes, Cardinal-Electors should not be submitted to undue "pressure", but perhaps they should keep their hip, "modern", opinions meant to shock ordinary Catholics to themselves, and other Cardinal-Electors might consider following the lead of Cardinal O'Brien if their presence in the conclave will shame the Holy Roman Church. And, no, once again the married priesthood, or anti-apostolic post-ordination marriage, would not have prevented this mess.

It seems unlikely that O'Brien would have resigned (or been asked to resign) so promptly - making the 2013 conclave the first one since 1958 without a representative from Eng…

Benedict XVI responds: "No, I am not abandoning you!"

Dear brothers and sisters!
On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy always presents us with the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelist Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as he prayed: his is a profound experience of relationship with the Father during a sort of spiritual retreat that Jesus lives on a high mountain in the company of Peter, James and John , the three disciples always present in moments of divine manifestation of the Master (Luke 5:10, 8.51, 9.28).The Lord, who shortly before had foretold his death and resurrection (9:22), offers his disciples a foretaste of his glory. And even in the Transfiguration, as in baptism, we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father, "This is my Son, the Chosen One listen to him" (9:35). The presence of Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets of the Old Covenant, it is highly significant: the whole history of the Alliance is focused on Him, the Christ, who accomplish…

"No more nice words: The resignation is a catastrophe"
"Benedict XVI: why have you abandoned us?"

In the semi-official daily of the French Church, La Croix, two conservative Catholic thinkers express their dismay (note: the authors, as it can be noticed, are not Traditional Catholics; the declaration, "we are all Sedevacantists", is a mere statement of fact regarding the upcoming period of vacant see.) La Croix

The Pope's abandonment is a catastrophe 
OP-ED Pierre Dulau & Martin Steffens, philosophy professors
2/19/13
In view of death, John Paul II addressed the world and told it: "Be not afraid". Reaching what seems to be the same position [in life], Benedict XVI resigns. One could see in these so diametrically opposed attitudes two complementary aspects of man: one, by which a supernatural courage pushes, to the very heart of unspeakable sufferings, to continue to fulfill his responsibility; the other, by which a very human weakness (in this sense a true inheritor to Saint Peter) leads to resignation.
Nevertheless, whatever may be the justifications we may…

Setting the stage for accurate reporting?

In the same press conference where Fr. Lombardi of the Vatican Press Office made what Vatican Radio has characterized as his call for "accurate reporting", he was accompanied by Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB of Salt and Light TV. During the interregnum, conclave and papal installation, Fr. Rosica will be taking care of the Vatican Press Office's English-language media bulletins and will, no doubt, be one of the Vatican's leading point men for the English-speaking media. It is only fair, then, to ask if Fr. Rosica has a strong understanding of the papacy that will serve him well under pressure from a media looking for soundbites. Unfortunately, as Vox Cantoris reports
While charity suggests that we should give him the benefit of the doubt that he was caught up in the discussion and that he was running off at the lip to the CBC's Peter Mansbridge, we do need to ask Father Tom Rosica, Executive Producer of Salt + Light, President of Assumption University, Papal Consultor …

Communiqué of the Secretariat of State on the upcoming Conclave

The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which alone, under the law, is responsible for the election of the Roman Pontiff, has always been strongly defended by the Holy See, as a guarantee of a choice based on evaluations solely for the good of the Church.
Over the centuries, the Cardinals have faced multiple forms of pressure exerted on the individual voters and the same College, with the aim of conditioning decisions, to bend them to a political or worldly logic.
If in the past it was the so-called superpowers, namely States, who sought to condition the election of the Pope in their favour, today there is an attempt to apply the weight of public opinion, often on the basis of assessments that fail to capture the spiritual aspect of this moment in the life of the Church.
It is regrettable that, as we draw near to the beginning of the Conclave, when Cardinal electors shall be bound in conscience and before God to freely express their choice, news reports abound which are often unverified…

1700th Anniversary of the Edict of Milan
Address by Pope Saint Pius X to the faithful gathered in Rome
on its 1600th anniversary

On the 1700th anniversary of the glorious recognition in Milan of the rights of the Church by Constantine the Great throughout the Empire, we are honored to provide a first online English translation of the address given on this occasion exactly one century ago by the Holy Successor of Saint Peter, Saint Pius X, in the Eternal City, soon before the end of his resplendent pontificate dedicated to the restoration of all things in Christ.
_____________________________________

Address of the Holy Father PIUS X
to the faithful gathered in Rome 
on the occasion of the sixteen hundredth Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Edict by Constantine

Sunday, February 23, 1913

Your presence, beloved children, fills Us with great joy, as all over the Catholic world we are commemorating the sixteen hundredth anniversary of acknowledging the guardianship of freedom, which Jesus Christ gave to His Church. So, it was quite right that to give proof of their joy and devotion to the Chair of Peter, the uncorrupt…

Vatican versus Vatican: will the "Real Vatican" stand up, please?
Abortifacient in 2000 and 2008, "example to be followed" in 2013

The Electors - the men who will choose the next Pope
I - Cardinal O'Brien

Cardinal-Elector Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of Edinburgh, Scotland:

"For example the celibacy of the clergy, whether priests should marry - Jesus didn't say that. There was a time when priests got married, and of course we know at the present time in some branches of the church - in some branches of the Catholic church - priests can get married, so that is obviously not of divine of origin and it could get discussed again." (BBC, Feb. 22, 2013)
As is well known, priests can never get married in the Catholic Church, unless they are have been "laicized" (removed from ordained ministry). Married men may be ordained to the priesthood in Eastern Churches and, as an exception that is not to be perpetuated, in the Latin Church in the case of those who exercised a priestly-like ministry in some historic Western "ecclesial communities". After priestly ordination, as established from time immemorial, no priest can ever "get married". (Cf. Sacerdota…

For the record: La Repubblica's summary of
the Herranz-Tomko-De Giorgi report.
The "improper influence" of the "underground"

For the largest Italian daily La Repubblica, the key part of the "300-page" cardinalatial report ("relatio") on the Vatican leaks ("in two red hardbound tomes") -- delivered to the Pope in December 2012 and currently under pontifical secret, and that supposedly influenced him to present his renunciation of the Supreme Pontificate -- was the identification of a hugely powerful and highly influential "homosexual underground" in the Curia and in the universal Church. (Note: the first time the Holy Father was supposed to have been warned of this part of the report was in "October" 2012, in one of his weekly unnanounced audiences about the investigations with Cardinal Herranz.)

This is curiously related to Fr. Dariuz Oko's article published in June 2012 and whose translation was posted last week here.
The original article is available here in Italian (here in Bing Translator's side-by-side view), and an image of the article is pres…

Cardinal Ravasi's vice-president in deep trouble

The Pontifical Council for Culture, headed by Cardinal Ravasi since 2007, has had its own vice-presidential figure (called "Delegate") since 2011: Ravasi managed to have this new position created, and who was named to the spot established especially for him was Bishop Carlos Azevedo, former auxiliary of Lisbon, Portugal.
And just today Portuguese weekly Visão published an exposé that makes it quite confusing to understand why Azevedo was called to Rome to be the second man in Ravasi's Council. From La Stampa's Vatican Insider - notice that not even the local episcopal conference is willing to actually stand up in defense of Ravasi's VP:
Portuguese magazine “Visão” has reported that complaints have allegedly been made against Bishop Azevedo, a delegate of the Pontifical Council for Culture, about sexual abuse committed in the 80's
ANDREA TORNIELLI VATICAN CITY The Catholic hierarchy is in the thick of a new sex abuse storm and this time the Roman Curia's in th…