Breaking News from Guardian and live reaction from here.
The Vatican Radio website has the full text of the Pope's statement today. Here it is in full:
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, 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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil 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
- H/T To Fr Dan Horan for image above and you can read his article on what Canon Law says about retirement from here.
One of these men will decide who will be the next Pope ...
- The current list of Electors aged under 80 and their biographies are found
England and Wales have no voting-age Cardinal available for the Conclave that will choose a successor to Benedict. When it is called to vote, Britain will be represented by Cardinal Sean Brady (Ireland) or his succesor, along with Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Scotland).
- Paddy Power is already taking bets here.
- Some more responses to Pope's resignation from Ekklesia here.
- and this article also from Ekklesia :
- Jesuit Thomas Reese has an excellent article with Questions and Answers on Papal Transition, and The Conclave for the impending election of the new Pope from here.
- Click here for a good summary of the complex legacy of Pope Benedict from Huffington Post Senior Religion Editor Paul Brandeis.
Tuesday 12th February "The Day After "
- Useful Question and Answers on "Benedict's Bombshell" NCR article from here.
- Gemma Simmonds CJ, here in Thinking Faith, the Online Journal Of The British Jesuits reflects on the resignation of Pope Benedict and says :
The Church is not a workers’ co-operative or a bear pit where the strongest and loudest wins. Nor is it fittingly governed by means of labyrinthine manipulation of a structure of governance that is opaque and unaccountable. Among the faithful the increasing polarity within the Church is a scandal whose pernicious effects are gathering momentum.
- Outside the Church, our critics have looked on in disbelief as we insist on holding to an uncompromising doctrinal line in the face of desperate pastoral imperatives, while failing to deal effectively with the glaring wrongs within our own structures. This has led to massive cynicism on the part of those who see not integrity and fidelity to Christ’s message but only hypocrisy and a lack of pastoral finesse.
- If we continue to think that the Pope is the only viable source of authority within the Church we will be doomed to a see-saw of polarised conservative vs. liberal personalities that will do nothing to make sure we all grow up. It is worth remembering that Archbishop Oscar Romero was thought to be a conservative figure when he took on authority over the Church of El Salvador. It was a close encounter with pastoral realities that led him onto the road of sanctity, martyrdom and lasting authority. Perhaps this tells us something more useful than political labelling about the man who should succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
- Perhaps this is the God-given
moment for us to follow the Spirit’s wisdom expressed in the Council,
dismantle the very recent ‘tradition’ of a strong, centralised papacy
and follow Newman’s line in consulting the faithful in matters of
doctrine, including that of church governance. "
Gemma Simmonds CJ is Director of the Religious Life Institute and a lecturer in Pastoral Theology at Heythrop College, University of London.
Meanwhile I pray !