Rorate Caeli


In the consistory for canonizations today, Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign on Feb. 28.

Text of the Declaratio, in Latin (as it was pronounced), and English:

Fratres carissimi

Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum.

Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commissum renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20 sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.

Fratres carissimi, ex toto corde gratias ago vobis pro omni amore et labore, quo mecum pondus ministerii mei portastis et veniam peto pro omnibus defectibus meis. Nunc autem Sanctam Dei Ecclesiam curae Summi eius Pastoris, Domini nostri Iesu Christi confidimus sanctamque eius Matrem Mariam imploramus, ut patribus Cardinalibus in eligendo novo Summo Pontifice materna sua bonitate assistat. Quod ad me attinet etiam in futuro vita orationi dedicata Sanctae Ecclesiae Dei toto ex corde servire velim.

Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die 10 mensis februarii MMXIII



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


Thank you.

Update (various news sources, from the Holy See spokesman Fr. Lombardi): Following his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time in Castel Gandolfo to end all pending work. Following that, he will  live the life of prayer n a cloister within the Vatican walls.


  1. Christe, miserere nobis. Domine, exaudi orationem nostram. Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

  2. Whether the pitcher hits the rock or the rock hits the pitcher, things are going to go badly for the pitcher.

    Are there any strong traditionalist candidates for the papacy?

    Prayers for the Holy Father.

    1. Cardinal Burke or Cardinal O'Brien would be such.

  3. My beloved Pope Benedict, I will always love you. I owe you so much. I am so very sorry - very distressed.
    Prayers from my heart for you, Your Holiness.


  4. This is the act of a truly holy man. God bless him for his humility and for all he has done to turn the hierarchy back to the path of tradition, Now, let Petrus Romanus come.

  5. This act is a cry to heaven for help. A cry which he knows will not go unanswered. Lord, increase my faith!

  6. A family member died yesterday, and yet I am so much more cold after reading this than when I received the news yesterday.


  7. A truly humble, holy Pope!

    Let us pray and sacrifice for the next Bishop of Rome, pastor of the Universal Church!

  8. I worry about who will succeed him?

    Tagle? NO WAY!!!

    The best man for the job isn't even a Cardinal, the Patriarch of Venice.

    There are a few liberals we should fear. Ravasi, Tagle, Ouellett, etc.

    This is a huge mistake by the Pope.
    Obviously, he feels that he won;t be around much longer. He should have done the same as John Paul II, and given a magnificent witness of courage.

    This is a personal mistake on the part of Benedict, and for the Church. Hopefully no liberal or "moderate" succeedes him.

    UNfortunatly, with this action, the resignation of a pope will be expected....and the Papacy will be turned into that like the "Archbishop of Canturbury" positon.

  9. Humble? Renouncing the see of Peter? I think that's rather audacious. And I also love this Pope.

    If he was going to be experiencing declining health, he could select competent advisers to carry his burden leading the church. He can't even 'stay on' until Easter to complete this holy season without unnecessary distraction and interruption? I fear the next pope will be no traditionalist. For his sake, I pray Cardinal Ratzinger does not life to regret this.

  10. I feel like someone very close to me has hung himself. What is going on??? Now all I can do is is pray that Cardinal Burke is elected.

  11. So many wasted chances, so many missed opportunities. Maybe if you had used a heavier hand and chosen better people, your ministry would have been that much easier.

    Bet you're sorry now Bishop Fellay. Although there are those who will say this was a sign that he was right all along and would have fallen under the control of a new regime.

    How do you call a Monarch that willfully abdicates? He's going to be a monk, will he be brother joseph? A cloister in the vatican? Sounds more like incarceration to me. Even the nuns get to walk past la piazza e le colonnade and venture into the Borgo. At least he could have gone home to stay with his natural brother.

    There has been talk of this for years with nothing happening. Soon after he was elected there was talk that he would not be long of this earth and had already had an alleged ministroke. Now he woke up and decided to quit.

    Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves (or old age & exhaustion).

  12. Why not, the Pope's only real project, reaching out to the SSPX, has ended.

  13. The wolves have proved too strong.


  14. This is not how my week typically starts.

    I'm meditating on the promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against our Church, and that Jesus will be us until the end of time.

  15. Anonymous 12:28 --

    The leftist news media the world over will now begin the drumbeat for their favorite papal candidates. Indeed, certain Cardinals will use their contacts in the press to push their status as papabile.

  16. This has the potential for disaster. God be merciful! I'll be hoping and praying for Burke or the like.

    Also, I hate to nitpick, but the proper word here is "abdicate," not "resign." I don't expect the secular media to get this right, but it would be nice if decent Catholic sites like RC did.

  17. O dulcissime Jesu, miserere nobis.

  18. Wow. This is truly shocking. I believe the reasons for resignation that he stated and I think it was an act of true humility.

    Great changes are coming.

    For the past ten years or so, who has not had stirrings in their soul that something momentous was about to happen in Holy Mother Church and that God's patience with it had been exhausted?

    I am horrible at predictions but I think that a real restoration will occur for a revolution can never be defeated by a slow,and piecemeal, and conservative correction.

    Prolly it is due to the Irish and Injun races coursing through my blood but I do hold out hope for a most rapid and radical restoration that will clearly separate the Traditional Wheat from the Modernist Chaff but if the world loves our next Pope I know that I will have, as usual, been wrong.

  19. I am not ready for this... why can he not hang on just one more year?

    Veni Creator Spiritus!!

  20. Let's hope the next Pope takes the title Pius XIII as Popes with the name Pius have been the most effective is stemming heresy and heterodoxy.

  21. I don't know what's going on here but I love this beautiful pope and I know our Lord will help him.

  22. Oremus ad deum, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that the new elected Pope will hold to the Apostolic Tradition without compromise.


  23. I can see how tired Benedict XVI has become so my heart goes out to him as a human being. But I do worry that this will set a precedent to pressure popes to leave office when the first signs of old age set in. Read the New York Times article on this if you want to get a good laugh at their sneering take on Ratzinger's gall in pronuncing Catholicism true. They put "true" in quotation marks, as if that were self evidently a preposterous notion.

  24. Disappointed but not surprised.Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:50:00 PM GMT

    You don't give up the helm. I find this to be cowardly on the part of the pope. You do not just walk away. He isn't that old or sickly. What is his true motive?

    Besides, he had a large part in forming this counterfeit Catholic Church and after the schooling he has gotten by the SSPX for forty years he surely knows it. For his sake I wish he would reconsider and instead of finishing out his days comfortably as a monk behind Vatican walls, return to the foot of the Cross, stand by Christ's mother and the beloved apostle and repair the damage he did. Even Peter chose upside-down crucifixion to make amends for what his denials of Christ.

    The patriarch of my family was older than this pope and was greatly infirmed. But he never abandoned his children and grandchildren. He preached the Gospel and love of Jesus until he took his last breath and he did so as the Head of the Family. If an old farmer can do that out of great Charity for God, why can't this pope??

    This is but the last of many disappointments in my expectations of this pope. God's rottweiler turned out to be a schnauzer.

  25. Our Lady of Lourdes pray for Pope Benedict and refresh him with your waters and energize him so hat he does not resign.

  26. God forgive me for judging a pope...

    If this in truth was coerced in any way, it's invalid. Think of that. St. Malachy, anyone?

    Imagine the intolerable pressure on future pontiffs to abdicate.

    Pray for Raymond Leo Burke. Every. Single. Second.

    "Jesus did not come down from the cross." ~ Bl. John Paul II

  27. Amen to your comment, dear IANS!
    (But perhaps Good GOD allows first a more liberal and modernist follower -- before then awaking a true Catholic Pope who does the restauration)

  28. A departure in a true revolutionary act that is deeply weakening the Pontifical ministry.

    Liberal ecclesiology will be boosted in reducing the papacy to a kind of presidency with a mandate.

    Benedict XVI pontificate is ending in a cul-de-sac after many expectations that have been all trumped up.
    Colossal failure to reform NOM, in fact he quitted in 2009.
    Colossal failure in renewing episcopacy and the Sacred College and the Curia : erratic appointments without any logics.
    Incapacity to move on on ecumenism : nothing serious with Eastern Churches, 2009 Anglicanorum coetibus major decision followed by nearly nothing (only 3 tiny Ordinariates and the dismissal of TAC).
    Incapacity to put some sense in interfaith mish mash with a kind of surrender with a new Assisi.
    Massive failure of the reconciliation with separate Trads : 7/7/7 SP is a step forward, a new step forward in 2009 (excommunications lifted), another big step in the talks 2009-2011 then a complete U-turn and capitulation in May-June 2012.

    Big hopes and minute and contradictory results.


  29. It's notable that even at this time, the usual creeps found in this combox raise their ugly heads.

    Go and pray for him and his successor and be Catholic!

    Vox Cantoris!

  30. I am in shock!!!

    Good Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us, I fear in the deepest recesses of my mind that this could happen, but I just tried to put it away and pray for His Holiness to continued until the very end of his life, obviously it is not going to happen but I am really nervous of who will be his successor.

    One more thing even though I didn't always agree with some things the Holy Father did I like most of what he did especially in regards to bringing back the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and everything else his Holiness did to help bring back Tradition in the Church.

    God bless Benedict XVI

    And I am sadden the SSPX didn't take the opportunity to being brought back to the Church under his Papacy.

    Our Lady help of Christians pray our Pope Benedict XVI and for all the Church in this urgent time of need.

  31. God help us and save us! It's 05:00 here in L.A. I just heard on the news. Didn't hear anything last night. When did this get announced?

    Anyway, it's the SSPX i'm worried about specifically. Us the poor Church in general, I suppose it wouldn't be any different if the Holy Father had died (most Popes usually prefer to die at the helm!). No wonder he's been stacking the deck regarding his Cardinals. Yikes.

    We have to pray regarding the efforts of rebuilding Tradition. Who knows now.

    Any hopes for Burke, Ranjith...?

  32. This has left me in shock, I feel rather saddened by this news. God Bless you Pope Benedict XVI!

  33. Headline:

    Pope Benedict fless for fear of the wolves!

  34. We can always count on you to cheer us up Alsaticus. Whether you see it or not, quite frankly I don't care , but Pope Benedict did touch a lot of people's lives. Mine, for example.
    As for the various pointless speculations that have already begun (GQ) can't you wait at least a day?

    This is like a death in the family. He is our Holy Father.

    Heaven help us.

  35. Katsumoto asked, "Are there any strong traditionalist candidates for the Papacy?"

    There's Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. There are couple of others but they may be iffy.

  36. Mahony Cardinal Elector.

  37. JB said, "I'm meditating on the promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against our Church, and that Jesus will be us until the end of time."

    Yes, something we must always remind ourselves, but we have to admit also that while the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, Our Blessed Lord didn't infer Her threshold wouldn't get singed now and then. Awful to have to consider that.

  38. Bill Phelan said, "Let's hope the next Pope takes the title Pius XIII as Popes with the name Pius have been the most effective is stemming heresy and heterodoxy."

    On that point, let's pray we don't end up with a Paul VII in whatever form!

  39. Have the owners of this blog considered disabling the comments feature? Can you read the comments of the last several months and tell yourselves with a straight face that the comments promote and strengthen virtue and the Catholic Church? The hate and bile towards the Church seems to be getting stronger every day.

  40. Why do the general condition of the Church, and now this abdication, remind me of "Windswept House"?

    Thank you, Papa Ratzinger. May the Good Lord and His Mother bless and keep you. Perhaps you could have done more; but the same can be said for all of us. May God be mericful to us all.

  41. Have people considered the possibility that the Pope, after witnessing firsthand the anarchy of the last years of his predecessor, decided that a repetition of that situation would be detrimental to the Church?

  42. Maybe in the time remaining to him in office he will consecrate Russia, in the manner Our Lady prescribed, thereby ushering in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a period of peace for mankind. He, and the world, have got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by that 5 minute act. He is the 7th Pope since 1929 to NOT do what Our Lady commanded. Don't expect good things to happen when you don't obey your Mother!

  43. Video of the Papal Abdication Declaration pronounced before today's Ordinary Public Consistory:

  44. I wonder if he will retire to a monastery? I know that as a Cardinal he often made retreats at Benedictine Abbeys. As Cardinal, he had a close relationship with the monks at Norcia. Pray for him, pray for the Church.

  45. A good Lenten resolution...ignore media pundits. Turn off the news and pray for Pope Benedict the Cardinals, the Church and our new Holy Father.

  46. I have found myself on the verge of weeping since hearing this news. I have been critical of many things that the Holy Father has done, but I can't help but love him.

    The Holy Father knows more about the state of his health than we do and may fear that as he declines hands inimical to the true interests of the Church may take over similar to what happened as John Paul II entered into his own decline?

  47. This is really astounding news. Even as someone only journeying into the one true faith, and not yet brought into the Church, it fills me with trepidation. I have criticized works of Benedict XVI (and also his works before his election to the papacy), and some of his actions as Pontiff, but I have always thought him an extraordinarily erudite and pious Christian--the professorial Pope. Though this will perhaps be greeted with suspicion here--though I wish it wouldn't be, since I am no modernist--Benedict XVI's works, putting aside any issues they sometimes have, have been very important in guiding me toward conversion to the Church. His encyclical Spe Salvi, e.g., was deeply meaningful to me. I am saddened and troubled indeed by the news of his abdication.

  48. I know I'll be accused of being a a conspiracy junky, but one cannot help but connect a few dots ...

    - Pope Benedict XVI appears to be well on his way to putting the final touches on a deal with SSPX/traditionalists at this time last year, and had given Bp Fellay assurances to this effect
    - ina complete turnaround, the text previously rejected earlier in 2011 is now put forward to Bp Fellay again, undermining a year of back and forth discussions
    - Following the inevitable rejection of the turnaround by SSPX, the arch-enemy of the SSPX is appointed as head of the CDF, the chief doctrinal guardian of the church and immediately asserts his well known anti-SSPX position
    - Within a few months, Pope Benedict resigns!!!!

    Friends, the anti-Christ is about to show his ugly face. The current Pope was effectively left with no choice but to step down as anti-Christ becomes most impatient - a time for prayer and sacrifice, a dark and troubling time worse than we have seen over the past 50 years.

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.

  49. I feel that I owe this man a great personal debt, the magnitude of which I may only tuly realize in the hereafter. I am a young man, and my faith has grown and matured even as I have under this pontificate. Without him, for example, I doubt I would have ever encountered the Traditional Latin Mass. Thank you so much, Holy Father!

  50. Please don't waste prayers for Pope Burke. There will never be a US Pope.

  51. May God bless our Holy Father Benedict XVl with additional years of peace, health and joy.
    Thank you for giving us back the Traditional Mass of the Ages and for setting the example of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling.

    I think it is a good example for future Popes to consider resignation when the energy level fails. The duties and resonsibilities are overpowering and the Church needs a firm hand on the tiller.

    Now we must pray for a worthy successor who hopefully will be a Traditionalist. Faithful, wise, firm and convincing.
    Pax Christi to the entire world.

  52. As Fr. Christopherson Henderson said in his Lenten Mission in 2009 on the Passion of the Church: "Only She can help us now."

  53. I fear a Pope Muller. True, the Lord has promised the Church will not be destroyed but a bad Pope can do alot of damage as the pre-reform/revolt Popes adequately demonstrated.

  54. For all of those who find fault with Benedict's decision, a reminder that the last Pontiff to resign was the great St. Gregory VII.

  55. Thank God Archbishop Nichols hasn't made the Cardinalate yet.

    1. Amen to that. That thought has been going round my head ever since I heard! Philomena

  56. Truly shocking. Prayers for the Holy Father, and for the Church.

    Is there any precedent for an abdication of this nature? In other words, is this the first time that a pope has abdicated on account of an expressed "incapacity to adequately fulfill [his] ministry"?

  57. On a lighter note, in the evening of February 28th Fr Cekada will finally be right in his ecclesiology.

  58. I had a long chat not so long ago with the abbot of a monastery in Fatima, Portugal. He has tried to persuade the nuns he is responsible for to go back to the Old Mass but they refused to. So a modern priest but with serious Traditionalist leanings. He told me "I await the anti-Pope who is to come and it may be the next one".

    Well, we will see.

    Almighty Father, in the name of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask you to lift from us the spiritual punishment we suffer not only from outside, but more particularly from inside Your Church, and ask You to grant us a Pope who will restore all things in Christ.

  59. CaritasVincit - no, Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415 during the western schism, much later than Pope St. Gregory VII.

  60. I too have my anxieties about this.

    My main fear is that this could set a precedent. It could be used by certain political fractions within the curia to pressure future Popes to abdicate the papacy.

    Think about it. Don't like the Pope? Set up a scandal. Have those close to him whisper in his ear that he's old and incompetent. Tell him that it would be better for the Church if he step down. Thus more potential anxiety and suffering for our future Popes.

    I'm sure Benedict XVI did what he thought was best for the Church, but I can't help but feel this is somehow a bad idea.

    May God bless him, and may God have mercy on the Church.

  61. Gregory XII was something of a special case. He was more or less deposed, along with his two rival claimants. Really St Peter Celestine was the last to resign because he felt he was unable to fulfill his ministry and that was in the 13th century!

  62. In Asia, they celebrate this week the beginning of the Year of the Snake.

    May the snake stay in his pit this year ... else, if he rear his ugly head, we so desperately need Our Lady to crush it devastatingly.

  63. Why are we surprised? This has happened before hasn't it? Also, Benedict has been an excellent pope and a very wise one. He knew his health was failing and you know what he did? He stacked the College of Cardinals? Half of the voting cardinals were put there by Benedict himself. Besides, how can we be worried? The Holy Spirit guides the Church! Rejoice, because God will have the right man be Pope. Is this not what we believe?

  64. Wow. Did you change your masthead to show the Holy Father's back facing us? No matter how we feel about all this (sad, mad, torn) that really comes across as uncharitable.

  65. Godfried Danneels, a Cardinal involved in concealing sex abuse, will be 80 years old on 4 June 2013.

    But because the Conclave will take place before that date, Danneels will serve as a Cardinal Elector.

    Actually, he will be the Senior Cardinal Priest.

    And liberal Giovanni Battista Re will be the Senior Cardinal Bishop, performing the duties of the Cardinal Dean (Sodano, the current Dean, is no longer a Cardinal elector).

  66. The American media are already pushing their favorite candidates simply because or race or personality. As much as we don't like some cardinals, we should be happy they are the ones in the Sistine chapel and not epigoni from CNN.

  67. Thanks, Rad Trad. St. Peter Celestine's incapacity was due to his having been a Benedictine recluse before his election to the papacy, with little competence for the huge administrative duties of the papacy.

    I just did a little cursory research, and it appears that this may indeed be the first time that a pope has abdicated for reasons of age or health.

    On the one hand, God bless our beloved Holy Father. On the other hand, just what we need, another innovation.

  68. "One news site is reporting Cardinal Schönborn as a leading candidate to replace Pope Benedict."

    Predictably, the media is already pretending they have a clue who the successor will be. After JP2 died, most media outlets claimed Cardinal Ratzinger had no chance. On NPR's list of papabile, they didn't even bother listing him! So do yourselves a favor, pay no mind to speculation in the news. For reference, here is NPRs laughable list from the last time around:

  69. How do you see Bagnasco? He may have chances.

  70. Clearly
    Now is the time to pray. To sacrifice, to do penance. Novenas to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Rosary.
    We are Roman Catholic. Church Militant...I a not going to lay down, and our Enemies will not lay down either.
    Let the world do what it does!
    Let us Catholics do what whe do!
    Deo Gratias

  71. According to the Holy Father, today's world is "shaken" by questions of "deep relevance" for the life of faith.

    Sounds rather odd. Any ideas?


  72. He most likely didn't like what was happening around Pope John Paul 2 when he was incapacitated and didn't want his papacy to end that way, but i don't think the limelight suited him.

  73. Benedict XVI was a great Pope. He has left us all his thinking in writing. Jesus on Nathareth, the compilations of texts of all the Wednesday Audiences, legal instruments to guide the Extraordinary Mass and mutual enrichment with the OF.

    What a tremendous loss in these times when Socialism is marching unopposed through Europe, United States and Latin America. Benedict could have just held on to see the fruits of his reform. For us on the side of Tradition this is a tragedy. Almost any successor will be more liberal.

    I met with the Pope in December and he seemed in good health and spirits. He is probably too modest to even consider that He was much better than any successor.

    I give thanks we had this great Pope for almost eight years.

  74. I saw no unkind comments. Truth is never unkind if stated charitably. Why do some of you strike the cheek if the words spoken are true??

  75. "Everyday, Jesus humbles himself just as He did when He came from His heavenly throne into the Virgin’s womb; everyday He comes to us and lets us see Him in abjection, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar." (St. Francis of Assisi)

    Prayers for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and for our next Pope. SACERDOS!

  76. It has been a joy and yet, insome cases, a great sorrow to read some of the comments posted here. His Holiness has a confessor, who knowing the true nature of the Pope's spiritual life, has blessed him to seek the vocation of a monastic. Perhaps as a monk in prayer he will render an even greater source of grace to a very troubled world. May His Holiness find great favor with God.

  77. Consider also the timing: the Holy Father knows Catholics will offer up intentionally and intently their coming Lenten mortification for the Church and for the papacy. He has done something practically unprecedented; perhaps with the knowledge that such a request-specific outpouring of grace will be necessary for something truly unprecedented, or at least of millennial importance?

    Let us not be stingy with our self-denial this year! Do not say, "No, that is too much, God would not ask so much," or "No, I cannot do it!" Not this time. As the Holy Father has humiliated himself publicly, let us humiliate ourselves privately.

  78. May God Bless you Pope Benedict the XVI. I pray that God sends us a good, solid, traditional pope.

    Let us all use this upcoming time of Lent to fast and pray for a good Pope to be chosen.

  79. Thank you God for the gift of this Great Pope. If any pope in modern history should be called great it is Benedict. I believe that, for the good of the church, he sees may challenges, many of which will require a person with much more stamina than he has. All of us reading this post and commenting have never had to deal with the issue of a pope stepping down so we area all about to learn and experience something new. I talked with a world renowned priest several years ago and I asked him if the next pope would likely undo the work of Benedict and his response was that popes have respect for their predecesors and as such should not rock the boat too much. Perhaps Benedict is setting the stage for a much broader application of his Reform of the Reform. One which he knows must be accomplished but one that will require a different visionary. God Bless the Holy Pope!
    Benedict the Great

  80. I feel bad that Holy Father didn't tell the faithful first. I would have liked him to speak to us from the balcony like a father to his children instead of gong to his "brothers" and then we are left to read of it "in the papers" so to speak.

  81. We are a family, people!

    Pray. Fast. Penance.

  82. Sanctitas: Gratias tibi ago per hos annos sicut Sophus Navarchos Ecclesiae; et certus sum et valde aveo in modo vehementi ut anni emeriti vestri, quid ni? silentes non erunt!

  83. Since this has already come up here, and will undoubtedly be tossed about all around the internet, here is the Wikipedia entry on the purported prophecies of St. Malachi:

    Obviously, it can't be considered authoritative, but it contains links to historical documents, etc., to help one discern the credibility of the prophecy if desired.

  84. Thank you God for sending Benedict XVI to us. His wisdom has strengthened the Catholic Church.

  85. What about the Encyclical on the Faith (

    Will it be scrapped, or will the current Pope release it before his resignation takes effect?

  86. Cor Jesu Sacratissimum:

    May the next pope truly, truly have a sense of sin and holiness of teaching authority about him always and impress this on the Universal Church invariably in all his pronouncements!!!

    And may the darkness of sin and the night of heathenism vanish before the Light of Your Word and the Spirit of Grace. And may the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of men, now and forever. Amen

    Ad astra per aspera,

    J Hughes Dunphy

  87. Our Lord is in charge and He will be with us to the end of time. Let us not be fearful. We hope and pray that traditionalists will unite under a new pope who will restore tradition in Holy Mother Church. That's one of the things that has been missing IMO - unity of traditionalists under one leader and this would be an excellent time for that unity to show forth.

    As for Pope BenedictXVI, we wish him only the best in his remaining time on earth. I'm waiting to hear the reaction of Bishop Fellay to this news. As for papabile, as I said, it's in the Lord's hands. May He be merciful to us.

  88. A lot of you ungracious people need to be reminded that despair is a mortal sin. Repent.

  89. Some of the objections of the comments of others here remind me of being at a wake. I have never been to a wake where anything but praises are heaped upon the deceased. I guess nobody who ever died was anything but wonderful and nobody who ever reigned as pope was anything but a blessing for The Church.

  90. I hope that the Pope, conscious of what is "dignum et justum" will dictate a motu propio validating the SSPX and giving them proper status in the Church. This would be a master stroke on his part and leave the houndogs barking with rage.

  91. I think the SSPX blew it but I'm also hopeful that the Novus Ordo won't go back to the way it was. Many people my age look back on the folk masses of our youth and still shudder.

  92. Not to get the ball rolling on conspiracy theories, but is it possible that the pope is being blackmailed to resign by one of the factions that stole those "Vati-Leaks" documents last year?

    If I remember correctly, back then they claimed to have got their hands on some really scandalous documents that the would use against the Vatican if it did not implement "positive" reforms. It makes you wonder if this papal resignation is given as "freely" as it appears to be.

  93. Pope Benedict XVI, thank you for Summorum Pontificum. Multos Annos.

    Oremus pro pontifice nostro Benedicto Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

    Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Benedictum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  94. Veritas, I see no cause for speculating that the Holy Father's resignation is under duress. In 2009 he publicly left his pallium on the sarcophagus of Pope St. Celestine V, so he clearly was thinking seriously about resigning even then, well before "Vati-leaks."

  95. No form of the word flabbergast, astonish, dumbfound, or even surprise (save as one commenter's handle) turns up anywhere in this thread. I am tempted to conclude that every other Trad hereabouts is so utterly blasé, detached, world-weary, or simply above it all that he views an event with no relevant precedent since the exit of Pope St. Celestine V as an occasion for empty speculation about who or what is next on the entertainment agenda.

    I am, at least figuratively, shaking in my boots. I am so, yes, flabbergasted by HH's renunciation of his office that I may even forego watching the tube tonight (for an hour or so, anyway) just to give this matter some thought and prayer. What harm would be done if others did the same before going into full-bore prognostication mode?

  96. "Veni Sancte Spiritus"! His Holiness' heroic act humbly embracing the Divine Will which restricts him by the very confines of his corporal existance, is his docile sacrificial Fiat. Pope Benedict XVI manifests his absolute adherent humble confidence in the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Catholic Church as he leads the faithful to prayer by his own example. It is his releasing recourse now to evoke the triumph Eternal Wisdom will grant IF we pray and do penance as Incarnate Wisdom's Immaculate Mother has repeatedly cautioned is critically conditional to obtain the triumph of Mercy.

  97. Two questions for those who are in the know:

    (1) Is there any chance that Bishop Athanasius Schneider might be elected?

    (2) Is it possible that the Holy Father did this so that he could influence the election of the next Pope?

  98. I spoke with my former parish priest in Moscow tonight. He was in Rome recently and saw the Pope say Mass. apparently the Holy Father could barely make it around the altar with the thurible so incapacitated has he become. Age has suddenly caught up with him very fast, as it often does. He is tired and the energy has gone.

    I am sure he doesn't want another period of anarchy such as we saw in John Paul's last ten years, when his mental faculties were affected as well as his physical condition.

    God bless Pope Benedict. We got the motu proprio at least.

    I wonder what SSPX priests are thinking tonight.

  99. Semper valeto, Pater carissime!

  100. From The Remnant:
    "Did the Wolves Win? Or Has the Holy Father Discovered a Way to Outsmart the Wolf Pack?

    The Vatican Press Office made an announcement this morning that has shocked the world: the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of February.

    Clearly, the Church is entering waters now that are as perilous as they are unknown. Let us presume the best of our Holy Father's decision to resign, citing a lack of strength at 85 years old to carry out his papal duties.

    Before commenting further, we believe further prayer and reflection are in order. This much is obvious, however--the wolves inside the Vatican and out have been circling our ageing pontiff ever since he was elected to Peter's chair. At the very beginning of his reign Benedict asked us to pray for him that he would not flee for fear of the wolves.

    And now the whole world is confronted with a question that may never be answered, even by history itself: Is Pope Benedict resigning because the wolves all around him have achieved their diabolical objective, or has he found a way of circumventing their evil designs by removing himself from their gullets? We believe it to be the latter. Pope Benedict XVI will not allow the wolves to act in his name to the detriment of the Church any longer. Vatileaks alone has shown this to be more than a mere wild conspiracy theory.

    What now? Pray incessantly for a younger but still tradition-minded successor who will attempt to carry on the reforms Pope Benedict was quite obviously prevented from continuing.

    May God help us all, and may He bless and protect his Church under siege from the world and in near total chaos internally. We pray for Pope Benedict, and ask our merciful God to watch over and protect him now and always..." Michael J. Matt

  101. Dimissioni Papa, fulmini su San Pietro: la foto simbolo

    [Google Translation] Pope accepts resignation, lightning of St. Peter the photo symbol

    L'immagine del giorno è di Alessandro Di Meo, fotografo dell'agenzia Ansa. Il fotoreporter è riuscito a catturare la caduta di un fulmine sulla cupola di San Pietro proprio nel giorno dell'annuncio delle dimissioni di papa Benedetto XVI

    [Google Translation] The image of the day is Alessandro Di Meo, photographer agency Ansa. The photographer was able to capture a lightning strike on the dome of St. Peter on the day the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI


  102. This move is so radical that one doesnt stint hidden subtexts. Usually when a Bishop resigns these days, it is because of a looming sex abuse scandal being laid at his doorstep. Atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens were saying "arrest the pope" in 2010. There are all sorts of web petitions for the same. Maybe the Pope was worried about the scandal of having a sitting Pope prosecuted in that manner. And the next Pope may be in his 40s... someone completely PS ... "post-scandal".

  103. I am deeply saddened by this news. Both from the perspective of a former Catholic and currently Orthodox Christian I think H.H. Benedict XVI was the best thing to hit Rome in a very long time. I fear for the future of the Roman Church where the election of a new Pope can have far greater consequences than a change in primates in one of the Orthodox churches. Even so I wish him well in whatever retirement awaits him.

    Many years!

  104. Of all the nonsense today in connection with the Pope, Father John Zuhlsdorf anti-SSPX rant took the cake. He used th Pope's abdication to attack the SSPX. Why?

    One day he moves freely among neo-cons. The next day he presents himself as a trad by criticizing the Mass of Paul VI. Today, he's a neo-con with his awful attack against the SSPX.

    Did anyone read his rant today? Why did he use the news about the Pope to lash out at the SSPX? Really, can anyone explain that? Today is about the Pope, not the SSPX.

  105. Dave,

    I read Fr. Z and CNN. I was curious what the enemy had to say about it.

  106. I also do not know why Father Z does these things either.
    I had to have a talk with my sons about that very thing, today after reading his blog.(we all follow Father Z)
    We have never attended a SSPX chapel, but verily we pray for them/with them (in spirit)always.
    I wonder if Father Z thinks ONLY the SSPX would suffer from any potential future Pope?
    Jesus Mercy please.

  107. Anon, not sure what blog you're reading, but to say Rorate doesn't allow pro-SSPX comments is absurd.

  108. If you disagree with it, you have 16 days to convince the Holy Father to change his mind.

    Clock's ticking, better get to it.

    There's nothing un-Catholic about appealing the Holy Father's decision back to the Holy Father.

  109. "Did anyone read his rant today? Why did he use the news about the Pope to lash out at the SSPX? Really, can anyone explain that?"

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf used to work for the Pontificial Commission Ecclesia Dei and when in Rome, would see and speak with Cardinal Ratzinger. I believe he knew the Cardinal, at least to some extent.

    When Pope Benedict XVI lifted the SSPX excommunications and was seen by many to be friendly and favorable to the SSPX, the neo-cons were forced to tone down their attacks against the SSPX. No more "heresy and schism" accusations against the SSPX.

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf, who does move easily between neo-cons and traditionalists, would sometimes become so favorable to the SSPX that he's mentioned buy SSPX publications and items. The more rigid neo-cons on his web site were upset with that.

    But now that he sees the SSPX as sticking it to the Pope by not accepting the Pope's offer of an agreement, Fr. Zuhlsdorf went on the attack today against the SSPX because his friend's time as Pope will end this month.

    So Fr. Zuhlsdorf is going to take one last nasty shot at the SSPX. His post today, when he wants the SSPX to beg and humilate themselves by groveling, is an embarrassment to the Pope.

    The Pope would be ashamed by the post. He would never want or make the SSPX, or anyone else, to beg, grovel and humiliate themselves like Fr. Zuhlsdorf described.

  110. PEH said, "As for Pope Benedict XVI, we wish him only the best in his remaining time on earth. I'm waiting to hear the reaction of Bishop Fellay to this news. As for papabile, as I said, it's in the Lord's hands. May He be merciful to us."

    Amen to that!! Just add this to our daily prayers, and now that it's Lent, we should just step it up a bit.

  111. "When the report spread that Celestine contemplated resigning, the excitement in Naples was intense. King Charles, whose arbitrary course had brought things to this crisis, organized a determined opposition. A huge procession of the clergy and monks surrounded the castle, and with tears and prayers implored the pope to continue his rule." (Loughlin, 1908)

    Benedict seems to be the first pope ever to submit a future-dated resignation. Nothing impugns the validity of this. However, nothing would seem to forbid him from changing his mind before it takes effect.

    In theory, he could become the first Pope to rescind a resignation. But his mind seems very much made up.

  112. If Dante were alive today, I wonder if he'd claim Benedict XVI gave his "gran rifiuto" as Dante apparently called Pope St. Celestine V's resignation, by placing the then-uncanonized pope in hell.

  113. The three Card. Siri disciples are:

    1. Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco Archbishop of Genova {Genoa}, Italy
    2. Mauro Cardinal Piacenza Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
    3. Domenico Cardinal Calcagno President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (He is to "administer the properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function." —Pastor Bonus, 172.)

    These three should be Thomists.


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