Pope To Resign

From the Associated Press:

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before G…

  1. Mimi

    Though I am not Catholic, I admire Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.  I think the current pope worked hard for the last one while he became infirm and barely lucid, so has been responsibe in the highest offices for a long time, and has helped make the Catholic Church vibrant.

    Pope Benedict is known for being a moderniser, and I think he shows modern thinking in his decision to resign.  In this day and age of  shredding leaders through tweets, or even paragraphs taken out of context, he is wise to leave his office for a younger, quicker soul.   Issues such as gay marriage, pedophilia in the church and women to be ordained to the priesthood are hard issues that hardball types will crucify an aging pontiff over.  He is right to leave the stage if he can’t deal with this crazy world of constant communication and counter-communication.

  2. Benjamin Glaser
    Two names to watch: 1) Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. 2) Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah of Ghana
  3. notmarx

    At Mass this morning, our celebrant read the news from his iPad.  One of those events – at least for me - that I’ll always remember where and when I got the news.  When Cardinal Ratzinger spoke at John Paul’s funeral in that gentle tenor voice, I realized what a job had been done by the press on Ratzinger/”Rottweiler,” and I grew to love him, for his quiet, stubborn courage and especially for his wonderfully clear  and wise writing.  Catholics had a dream teacher as Pope for eight years.  We were very blessed.  And I am gobsmacked by the news.   

  4. Boisfeuras

    Does this mean he’s now ex-Benedict?

  5. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    I wrote up a bit about the early media failures in covering this story over at GetReligion. Some are just appalling.

  6. Israel P.
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: From the Associated Press:

    The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants

    It’s bigger than that, no? The last papal resignation was political, but how long ago was the last resignation for reasons of “health and strength?”

  7. KC Mulville

    Since I’m certain to be one of the finalists, I’m sure you’ll all want to contribute to the “Support KC Fund;” details soon to follow.

    And remember, no donation is too small.

  8. Western Chauvinist

    I’m in shock. And terribly worried. Pope Benedict XVI was the man for the times. He understood the mortal threat of moral relativism to individuals and society. Will “we” find someone as conscious of the challenges to the faith, and to the world at large?

    My feelings are not in sync with Catholic teaching, btw. We believe the pope is elected by the College of Cardinals, but under the influence of the Holy Spirit (thus, the infallibility on faith and morals). I should be trusting, but I’m admitting to a moment of doubt and fear here.

  9. Foxman
    David Semark: Does this mean he’s now ex-Benedict? · 46 minutes ago

    Light on the hollandaise sauce.

  10. Colin B Lane

    Talk about speaking truth to power . . . 

    [Quoting 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus in his Regensburg Lecture in 2006]:

    [H]e addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: ”Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death….

  11. Colin B Lane
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: I wrote up a bit about the early media failures in covering this story over at GetReligion. Some are just appalling. · 36 minutes ago

    Piers Morgan: “As a Catholic, I’m not buying this. Popes don’t just quit because they’re tired.”

    Solidifying his hold on the top spot of media blithering idiots.

  12. Aaron Miller

    What a surprise!

    He is a wonderful man and a wonderful bishop of Rome. I followed his writings when he was known as Cardinal Ratzinger, and greatly admired his balancing of ancient wisdom and modern dilemmas. When he believes a philosophy is errant, he not only explains why it is errant but also tries to explain why such a philosophy might arise. He has devoted his life to the pursuit of truth during a time when subjectivism permeates everything.

    I was fortunate enough to stand on the steps of St Patrick’s cathedral in New York with the Legionaries of Christ when Pope Benedict celebrated Mass there. It’s remarkable how quiet and tender his voice is after so many years of liberal reporters referring to him as the Vatican attack dog. A very humble and gentle man.

    What a change his retirement is from the visible suffering of his predecessor. I trust that he has made the right decision.

    So, let the tribulations begin!

    Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.

  13. Captain Red Beard

    My wife and I just named our first born son after him (Benedict Joseph) less than two weeks ago.  We were floored….

  14. tabula rasa

    He is a wise, compelling man.  

    His pre-papal condemnation of moral relativism is inspiring:  “We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.”

    God bless him.

  15. Brian Clendinen

    I am not Catholic but to me this is huge news, one of the most important historical events in the last few years. It is more historically significant than presidential elections. Trust me 300 years from now more people worldwide will know he resigned as pope than who was elected in the  2012 U.S. presidential election.

    Now that is not to say actual influence  and long term impact, I am just saying when we and out children are all dead what people will remember as historically significant events.

  16. AUMom

    One of the things that has most surprised me lately is the impact of the last two popes on the non-Catholic world. I mourned Pope John Paul II and have come to respect Pope Benedict. I salute him for being able to lay down the reins of power. Very few men (or women) are able to do so. 

    My biggest question is one of timing—in the middle of Lent? 

  17. Owl of Minerva

    Spoiler Alert: Andrew Sullivan will be elected the next pope.

  18. katievs

    I so loved JP II that, even though I was thrilled when Ratzinger was chosen, it still took me a while to get used to him as Pope.  Now I love him truly and feel terribly shocked and sad.

    I admire the decision, though.  

  19. EJHill

    Has Soledad O’Brien tweeted her disappointment about the lack of female and GLBT candidates to replace him?

    Addendum: Delingpole! Your time has arrived!

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