Benedict XVI intends to resign

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict, had called the Cardinals together for a consistory.

And announced that he will resign.

His last day will be 28 February.

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.

I need time in prayer to absorb this one.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Lucas says:

    My wife is terrified as to what this will mean. She thinks its the end of the papacy and now Popes will be expected to resign. She thinks the next Pope will not be friendly at all to either the EF or to SSPX. Of course she does not she any positive outcomes to this.

    I have my fingers crossed for the future.

    Prayers for the College of Cardinals and for Pope Benedict.

  2. Jacob says:

    You forgot to mention the fact that previous Pope Benedict XVI will live out the rest of his days in the Vatican’s cloister, as a monk.

  3. acardnal says:

    Another reason to do fasting and penance this Lent so that the Conclave will respond honestly to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and give us another Holy Pope who will do God’s Will.

  4. r.j.sciurus says:

    I am prayerfully optimistic that this is a well calculated move by a brilliant German tactician. He will now be around to “assist” the Holy Spirit at the conclave. Meanwhile, I would love to be a fly on the wall at the SSPX as they handicap the possible successors and decide whether or not it’s time to make a move.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    I have been watching the BBC which has had positive news except for ridic comments by Tablet editor. New Pope by Easter and conclave starts late Feb.

    Lots of news and tweets on my blog.

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    Wow. Just, wow.

    The Chicken

  7. Blaise says:

    I am in shock at this news; it is very sad. My selfish reaction is to wish he would change his mind since he is such a great Pope. Yet that desire is fuelled by the admiration I have for him in all that he has done and written in his papacy: who am I to suggest that this is not also a wise decision?
    Many prayers will be needed for Holy Mother Church. Even in his announcement the Holy Father has put things so well:
    “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 .”

  8. cdet1997 says:

    It’s been about 2 hours since the announcement. I wonder how much longer it’ll be until the first plea from the media for the new pope to be more open to contraception and gay marriage in order to make the Church “relevant”.

  9. Medjugorje Man 07 says:

    What is the history on this?

    Pray for the Holy Father.

  10. bookworm says:

    I first saw this as a short headline at my local newspaper website — “Pope announces he will resign” — and clicked on it thinking, “Surely this has to be referring to some local politician named Pope, and not THE Pope.” I am still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor from discovering that it was, indeed, THE Pope. Did the person who predicted on another thread yesterday that Card. Burke will be the next pope know something we don’t?…. Seriously, did any Vatican-watchers see this coming?

  11. kat says:

    So sad. And a bit scared. Will world begin to expect all popes to resign in future? Already hearing of papabile, eg one who supposedly reaches out to Muslims. Great… Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us. Been waiting for your post all morning Fr. Z. Hope your prayers are peaceful.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    He will be gone in two weeks.

  13. eyeclinic says:

    I heard this first thing this morning and went to Wikipedia, and they had already updated their site to include BXVI’s intent to resign effective 28FEB13. News travels quickly indeed!

  14. sw85 says:

    This will be the first Papal conclave I’ll witness as a Catholic. It’s kind of terrifying.

  15. kelleyb says:

    God bless our Holy Pope. I read this post in tears. But I have to trust the loving mercy of our Lord that the Church will have the Supreme Pontiff who will continue to renew the Church.

  16. Shocking. Sede Vacante?!? Not a resignation since 1415. And of course, to suspicious ole’ me, nothing is ever as it seems. What is really up?

    What does this mean to the lovers of the old law, the old Mass, our old ways?
    Yea, the timing will give us a season and the extra benefits of the season of grace to do extra penance in preparation for the next stage. [A great time to practice the old law of every day of Lent (except Sundays) as a day of fast, one meal a day and abstinence meaning no meat, meat products, or meat juices perhaps?]
    Time for St. Malachi’s “Black Pope”?

  17. Supertradmum says:

    If you all put your trust in God and have faith in Divine Providence, you will be peaceful. Do not be afraid.

  18. SKAY says:

    Lord have mercy on us.

  19. VexillaRegis says:

    Yes, the Pope is a brilliant German tactitian, and I think he has more surprizes for us. It’s time to start praying fervently for a good and orthodox new Pope. The Pope will!

  20. jesusthroughmary says:

    So, is he Cardinal Ratzinger again?

  21. pmullane says:

    God Bless Pope Benedict, we have been Blessed to have a wise and Holy Man to lead us.

    Prayers to the Holy Spirit for his successor.

    Lucas, reassure your wife, there is no need to worry. The Lord gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and the promise that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against it. Whats more there is no man in the world who knows the Holy See like Joseph Razinger. He will not leave us in peril. The next Pope may not be (as) friendly towards tradition, but Summorum Pontificum is now the law of the Church, and I see no appetite for a new Pope to officially outlaw the Extraordinary Form, something that was not done even in the 1970’s. The SSPX must examine themselves, they have had an open door these last 7 years, and Benedict has moved mountains to accommodate them, they may find that the new Pope will be less accommodating, but that is their issue.

    But dont worry. God is always in charge.

  22. MacBride says:

    Shocking and saddening. After some reflection, I feel Benedict is a wise man and is doing what he feels is best for the Church. I am sure this was not a snap decision on his part. With the state of the Church today, I can see his point. What an unselfish act in trying to do what is best for the Church. I pray the new Pope will be as traditionally-minded as Benedict…but I still fear the worse. As people have been saying..the persecution is coming from within and outside the Church. Time to say many many rosaries.

  23. akp1 says:

    Devastated, yet trusting at the same time. Blaise’s comment above sums it up perfectly for me.

  24. Darren says:

    God Bless Pope Benedict XVI. This will not be the first time a Pope steps down. It has just been a VERY long time! Was it Pope Gregory XII in 1415 who was the last to do so? …for his particular reasons.

    I am sure His Holiness has spent countless, and I mean COUNTLESS, hours in prayers before arriving at this decision. We must trust this to the wisdom of the Holy Ghost, pray for the church and for all priests and bishops, and for the man who will be the next Supreme Pontiff, whoever he will be.

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    “What is the history on this?”

    From Wikipedia:

    “The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that one catalogue of popes has Pope John XVIII resigning office in 1009 and ending his life as a monk.[4][5]
    In 1045, in order to rid the Church of the scandalous Pope Benedict IX, Pope Gregory VI paid Benedict to resign the papacy in his favour.[6] Gregory himself resigned in 1046 because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict was considered simony. Gregory’s successor, Pope Clement II, died in 1047 and Benedict IX became Pope again.
    The best-known resignation of a Pope is that of Pope Celestine V in 1294. After only five months of pontificate, he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a Pope to resign, and then did so himself. He lived two more years as a hermit and then prisoner of his successor Pope Boniface VIII and was later canonised. The Papal decree that he issued ended any doubt among canonists about the possibility of a valid Papal resignation.
    Pope Gregory XII (1406-1415), resigned in order to end the Western Schism, which had reached the point where there were three claimants to the Papal throne: Roman Pope Gregory XII, Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII, and Pisan Antipope John XXIII. Before resigning he formally convened the already existing Council of Constance and authorized it to elect his successor.
    On 11 February 2013, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would resign effective 28 February, due to infirmity from advanced age.[7] He is the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.”

    Type in, “Papal Resignation, ” to read the rest of the article.

    The Chicken

  26. ClaireW says:

    I am so sad and so completely shocked. God Bless the Holy Father.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    This is all part of God’s plan for the world. Eleven cardinals in the States can vote and no English or Welsh cardinals can. Mahoney can vote.

  28. Lori Pieper says:

    I feel terribly shaken. I figured Pope Benedict’s death, or even resignation, down the road, would be months or years away, and I wouldn’t have to think about it for a long time. I am just not ready for another Pope!

    And I am SO not ready for all the stupid, inane and blasphemous newspaper speculation about Benedict’s reign and his successor. Just think, this time the outgoing Pope gets to read all of it! (I hope he will wisely refrain).

    May God bless our dear Papa and protect him whatever he does wherever he goes. I know he didn’t make this decision lightly. May God watch over His Holy Church, and may the Holy Spirit inspire the cardinals to elect a good successor.

  29. Scott W. says:

    Have no fear. Our Lord promised to protect His Church.

    Suggested to-do list before resignation:

    1. Take Mahony’s red hat away.

  30. Supertradmum says:

    BBC has nothing but praise for three hours on and off. Only negative comment has been from The Tablet

  31. Supertradmum says:

    BBC has nothing but praise for three hours on and off. Only negative comment has been from The Tablet and the Guardian newspaper.

  32. mwmn says:

    I know over the past few years, Pope Benedict has appointed many good bishops here in the United States. Can the same be said for the Cardinals he has appointed? I ask that question strictly from a point of ignorance.

  33. Jason Keener says:

    I am in complete shock. I am also thankful for the years of Pope Benedict’s papacy and am very thankful for “Summorum Pontificum.” I will now begin to pray that Cardinal Burke or some other suitbable candidate will be raised to the Chair of Peter.

  34. anilwang says:

    As a revert during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI after being away since grade school, this Pope is very much “my Pope”, so I’m especially saddened and speechless.

    Oremus. In Te Confido Iesu.

  35. Jim of Bowie says:

    Very sad day. Let us pray that his sucessor will be friendly to tradition.

    Great site here for Cardinal Electors.

  36. MaryRoseM says:

    Just heard this on the news this morning on my local radio. I was in shock. And then I thought about you, dear Fr. Z. I’m glad you’ll be praying about it because I’m really curious about your thoughts.

    My first thought was that perhaps our Holy Father will have input toward his successor. However, I remember one time you mentioned how he is also surrounded by enemies, so I’m not sure what needs to happen to ensure that another Pope who is a friend to traditionalism, will be chosen.

    But nevertheless, we have a promise from our Lord, Jesus Christ, who said “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” His Church. No matter who is chosen, we are called to be obedient and to pray, and to continue to be His witness to a world that is quickly growing darker by the minute. It’s hard to have faith when so much has happened that has given victory to evil, but I too am pressing on for more faith.

    If indeed we are called to live a deeper sacrificial life, then may we take heart that suffering has meaning and God is the ultimate victor. Jesus Christ went through His Passion, but on the other side was glory. We have so much more in store for us on the other side of heaven then the machinations and diabolical plans of men.

  37. Courage, Father. I too am agape, but — courage all the same. non praevalebunt

  38. cyrillist says:

    @Supertradmum: “BBC has nothing but praise for three hours on and off.”

    Because they’re happy to see him go And they’re ecstatic that it’s an abdication. Kyrie eleison.

  39. tealady24 says:

    I believe trusting this to prayer is the best, and only, thing we can do. It falls within days of Lent which should signal to us how truly penitential and important this season should be for us.

    Just tell Mary to “take over”, and leave it at that.

  40. FrankWalshingham says:

    Benedict XVI will go down as a great pope. He carried on the legacy of his predecessor with dedication, was an unabashed champion of orthodoxy and stopped the liberal bishops from supressing the Tridentine Mass. I only wish he would have passed out a few more red hats to bishops like Charles Chaput and Alexander Sample before he threw in the towel. Being the intellectual that he is, I am sure his decision came after much prayer and soul searching. I believe history will prove it to be a proper choice. It is asking too much for an 85 year old to continue to bear the physical and emotion rigors of the toughest job on earth. He faithfully carried this burden as long as he could, and now he has the courage and wisdom to see that it is the right time to pass the torch. Viva Il Papa! May you enjoy your retirement and rest with the peace of knowing you did your job well.

  41. Bev says:

    “There is no room in this world for a retired pope.” -JP2

  42. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I cried when I first heard, and I’ve cried since then. But I trust this pope to make prudent decisions and to know his own limitations.

    Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is the feast of resignation to God’s will, to be allowed to heal or called to bear suffering. Our Pope is putting this all in God’s hands, and asking Mary’s help. And like the song says, “We pray for the Church, our true Mother on Earth.”

  43. frjim4321 says:

    Well this gives me something to give up for Lent: Idle speculation.

  44. WaywardSailor says:

    I haven’t awakened to such stunning news since a gray, rainy September day when my radio alarm came on announcing the death of Pope John Paul I. My immediate thoughts were “what does this mean for the Church, for my parish, for my family? And almost as immediately, the words of St. Teresa of Avila flooded my mind:

    Let nothing trouble you,
    Let nothing frighten you.
    All things are passing;
    God never changes.
    Patience obtains all things.
    He who possesses God lacks nothing;
    God alone suffices.

    Our Lord is kind and merciful; He is with us always and will see His Church through to the End of Time.

  45. Jerry says:

    Amen, Fr. Jim

  46. dep says:

    Do we give any credence to St. Malachy’s prophecy? If so, we had best prepare ourselves.

    (Which, actually, we had best do anyway.)

  47. alexandra88 says:

    Terribly sad news. I converted during his reign so I have particular affection towards him. However, the Holy Father has made it crystal clear that he is not a well man and he does not make this decision lightly. God is working in this, people! Stay calm.

    How about you, yes YOU, offer up a rosary now for our beloved Benedict and his successor. Our Lady of Lourdes, guardian of the sick, pray for him!

  48. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Fr. Jim, its much too late for that, I’ve aleady been sucked in :p

    It does feel somewhat strange speculating on his successor while he is still “in the room” so to speak. I realize there is probably good administrative reasons for it, but I almost which he would have announced his retirement with immediate effect, so as to not end up with this two and a half week long “lame duck” papacy. Also selfishly, its a bit like being told someone has a secret they want to tell you, but they can’t for two weeks. The suspense will kill me…

  49. Glaswegian says:

    Pope Benedict gave so much to the church, and himself spoke much about the meaning of gift and giving… is it going too far to consider this act one final gift to the Church? Going before mental or physical impairments can cause any damage – and setting a precedent so that no successor has to feel obliged to struggle and suffer in the way his predecessor did? As always with this Pope, immactulate and significant timing to make this announcement on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and in a way that the Church will have a new Pope to celebrate Easter and the Lord’s Resurrection.

  50. Jim of Bowie says:

    Father Z. On this day of all days please take down frjim4321’s trivial comment.

  51. pledbet424 says:

    Good news from Hans Kung:

    “During his time in office he has ordained so many conservative cardinals, that amongst them is hardly a single person to be found who could lead the church out of its multifaceted crisis.”

    I hope he’s right.

  52. e.e. says:

    Jim of Bowie — I think the reminder to give up idle speculation is rather a good one. It would be easy for any of us blog-readers to spend Lent engaging in gossip or speculation about who will be the next pope. Idle speculation benefits no one. Indeed, let’s give that up for Lent (and thereafter), and devote ourselves instead to prayer and fasting.

  53. Supertradmum says:

    All the Catholics and most of the Anglicans are praising this great man. I am not surprised at this move by the Pope, as he is a man who trusts in the Holy Spirit. As to it happening quickly, his heart condition must cause him fatigued. Even Cormac Murphy O’Connor praised him and said that the Pope was chosen in 2005 as the best choice for the Church at the time.

    We need to be careful at spurious prophecies of future Popes, but at the same time realize that the Lord is allowing us to enter into a time of hardship. That is obvious from events.

    I think this happened oddly fast, but on the other hand, history is speeding up in several areas, as we see in the States.

    By the way, the Pope made his announcement in Latin,which is cool and for those not on twitter, I have many things on my blog.

  54. dep says:

    Just so. It’s industrious speculation that we need!

  55. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    May I suggest three actions:

    1) Let’s put together a spiritual bouquet for His Holiness. I’ll offer Stations this Friday for him.

    2) Let’s pray for his successor, that the Lord will show him how to work with insufficient instruments.Perhaps a spiritual bouquet for the incoming pope as well?

    3) Make a list of all the many (known) accomplishments of His Holiness’ reign. (So far, since he has two weeks, yet.)

    St. Michael the Archangel, protect us.
    Our Lady of Lourdes, intercede for us.

    God bless us, everyone.

  56. MAJ Tony says:

    This is part of God’s strategy. The Pope’s decision to do it now is certainly a tactic nested in that strategy: keep the papacy relevant and “in the fight.” In the age of “soundbites” and 24 hour news cycles, the Holy See needs to remain “in the fight” as it were, and the Pope fully realizes this, and wisely, I think, decided that the only way for that to occur is to have a Pope that could be out front, leading the flock visibly, and also be active in the Church’s affairs.

  57. mamajen says:

    I am shocked, but at the same time I think it’s nice that he has so much respect for the position. I would rather see a pope resign than linger in poor health and delegate important tasks and decisions to who knows who in the Vatican. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t have had him earlier–he has so many good ideas. I hope that his successor will be of the same mold.

  58. celpar says:

    A very sad day. But I guess the Pope has come to the conclusion that a decline in his physical and mental powers mean that he cannot serve the Church in this role any longer. I remember he said in an interview a while back that he would resign if he ever felt that this was so.

    I was fortunate enough to be present at the beatification of John Newman a couple of years ago and remember the feeling that we all came away with of having been in the presence of great holiness. And I owe my return to the Church in part to his writings.

    God bless him in his retirement.

    Now let’s all pray for the cardinals who will be meeting soon to elect his successor.

  59. Pope Benedict is the fifth of my lifetime. And none of them has ever sought my advice!

    Our Lord loves the Church and longs for the worlds salvation far more than we ever can.

    Trust Him.

  60. NBW says:

    I am shaken and greatly saddened. And I am a bit worried about who will be our next Pope. We all must remember that God is in charge and not to worry.

  61. Ted says:

    I noticed how very frail he had become when viewing the papal liturgy during this past Christmastide. I understand why he made his decision, a painful one, but it seems he had no other choice. Let us pray for him, that he will be with peace of mind in this decision.

  62. mysticalrose says:

    My mom texted me the news early this morning. I am absolutely devastated. And worried. What will this mean for traditional Catholicism?

  63. PA mom says:

    Stunned. Just the other day, I was considering the challenge that Pope John Paul II had, being elderly and seriously ill, and having the abuse scandal come front and center in the Church.
    Our Pope has been so good for the Church. After JPIIs example of leading unto death, I have to believe that Benedict has special cause to believe that he should retire.
    Thank you, Your Holiness, for your generous and tireless service to us. We love you!

  64. Dr. K says:

    The Diocese of Rochester has been a land of darkness since Oct. 6, 1969. It looked like the dawn of a new day when Pope Benedict XVI immediately accepted Bp. Clark’s resignation in October, but now this.

    Our darkness continues.

  65. anilwang says:

    mysticalrose says “I’m…worried. What will this mean for traditional Catholicism?”

    Remember Matthew 16:18 . Ultimately, the Church is not a man made invention. If it were, it would have fallen apart into 30,000 denominations within 500 years of its founding and watered down the faith to keep unity and peace with the civil authorities (as Protestantism did), and there would be little hope for recovery in this age of concerted global attacks on the Church.

    But the Church is in God’s hands, not in the hands of any particular Pope…no matter how holy. I wish the Pope could have hung on until the booklet calling for reverent ad orientum worship was completed later this year and his much expected encyclical on faith. But the work will go on regardless, and there is no going back from the restoration he had the courage to initiate (liturgy, interpretation of Vatican II, LCWR, Education, ….). I suspect that the Pope feels in stronger hands, those reforms will go forward with more force.

  66. Mike Morrow says:

    Having lived the loss of Pius XII in 1958, I have since had cause to praise the legacy of only two successors…John Paul II as the great world political pope, and Benedict XVI as the great world Catholic pope. His living presence may contribute immensely to the selection of a youthful successor who will provide new energy and continuity with the remarkable Weltanschauung of Benedict XVI, the greatest pope of my lifetime.

    We may then have great cause to thank Benedict XVI for this precious gift.

  67. Thom says:

    Like so many others, I am stunned and grieving. I was baptized in 2005 just a month before Pope Benedict’s election, and his hand on the tiller is the only one I’ve known.

    We can but pray. My wife and I are beginning the Camino de Santiago shortly after Easter, and I will now offer it for the intentions of two Popes.

  68. jesusthroughmary says:

    I wonder if this will set a precedent for future Popes in this media age. In order to be an effective leader, you need to be visible and to translate well through audio and video. Remember the intense pressure on Bl. John Paul II to do exactly this. IIRC, Card. Ratzinger was in favor of John Paul’s abdication.

  69. bernadette says:

    This is so distressing! I will double down on Lenten prayer and sacrifice and maybe start early, like today!

  70. Magash says:

    I well remember Fr. Z’s very good addition to the coverage of the last papal election. I hope he has a part to play in the coverage of this one too.
    As for speculation, I also remember the old saying that a man who enters the conclave a candidate for Pope will leave it a Cardinal.
    I think we must follow the Holy Father in this one last thing. He is obviously courageous enough, holy enough, to leave the reins of the Church in the hands of the Holy Spirit rather than attempt to wrestle with them himself, now that he does not feel he is strong enough to hold them. How can we do less? We must trust in God and be not afraid.

  71. Geoffrey says:

    Stunned. Just stunned. Praying this is all a very bad dream…

  72. Pingback: Da Tech Guy's Blog » Blog Archive The Pope Resigns, first thoughts (8 updates and counting) » Da Tech Guy's Blog

  73. trespinos says:

    I’m stunned by the news, but certainly the Holy Father had given major hints that he would resign should a decline in his health cause him to doubt his ability to fulfill his duties.

    We shall not see his like again. How really blessed we have been to have lived during his papacy. In the modern age, there has never been a teaching pope who spoke the Good News in such clear, compelling language. I shall pray for him and for the Cardinal electors. Thank you, Papa Benedetto XVI, Doctor Pellucidus.

  74. APX says:

    Our priest during Mass told us this isn’t a good thing, nor is it a bad thing.

    Oddly enough, despite being a chronic worrier, this is one thing I’m not worried about.

  75. Stumbler but trying says:

    I have cried off and on since the news first came out as I have much loved and still do our Holy Father. I will trust that his decision was a wise and just on though difficult. Going against the grain of expectations but trusting his entire person and all of his abilities or lack thereof to God’s holy mercy and love he did so in prayer and in patience, waiting on the Lord. I remember when he was first elected, he was quoted as saying :his reign would not be a long one.” I have always kept that in the back of my mind.
    Papa Benedicto! You are a man of God, of prayer, of love, of great wisdom and fortitude.
    I love and admire you always. Be assured of my continued prayers. I am happy that while you are still with us, your prayers will join ours as we pray, hope, and await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until that time, let us unite ourselves, one to the other, in gratitude for the great mercy and love that has been bestowed upon us by our loving heavenly Father.
    Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us!

  76. Cavaliere says:

    I left Rome at 7:00 this morning and upon arriving in home in Minnesota several hours learned the sad news. On Saturday I was present as a knight of the Order of Malta at St. Peter’s and Pope Benedict spoke to the members of the Order after Mass, what a blessing. It was obvious though that his health is not well at all.

  77. mysticalrose says:

    @anilwang: all good points. Thx.

    I too am sad that he is resigning before offering his encyclical on faith.

  78. sciencemom says:

    Before and during the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, many people I know spiritually adopted one or two Cardinal electors. One internet message board I was on helped with organization by listing the Cardinals and “adopters,” to make sure every one had someone praying for him specifically.

  79. Bea says:

    At the very beginning of his reign Pope Benedict asked us to pray for him that he would not flee for fear of the wolves.

    The Church has been in disarray for quite a while:

    Disobedience of bishops to his edicts, SP (one example),
    Refusal of Catholic Institutions to enforce the Ex Corde Ecclesiae (Fidelity of Faith in Education)
    “nuns on the bus”
    “loyal dissent” (as if dissent was loyal)
    Un-Cathollic groups carrying names professing to be Catholics, “Catholics for Choice” (one example)
    Liturgical abuse continuing, despite directives to follow rubrics.

    I hope that, that is not the reason he is “fleeing”, because of disobedience to himself in all of the above.
    He had spoken of a “leaner Church”: A leaner Faithful Church would have been better.
    Perhaps if more heads had rolled through a choice of ultimatums of excommunication or compliance,
    we would not be facing what we are now.

    It must be so discouraging for priests, (from the bottom all the way to the top) to see hierarchy as well as laity in disobedience to Holy Guidance.

    May God have mercy on us.

  80. historyb says:

    I am stunned and praying for the Holy Father

  81. frjim4321 says:

    “Father Z. On this day of all days please take down frjim4321?s trivial comment.” – Jim of Bowie

    I don’t know what makes my comment trivial. In fact I was quite sincere.

    How many millions of hours will be spent over the next two months speculating about what this means, what this does not mean, and what is going to happen the universe of people who know the answers to those questions are very small, and they are not talking.

    Frankly, I don’t want to spin my wheels speculating when I could use the time reading, praying, doing homily prep, or swimming.

  82. marthawrites says:

    I am wondering if our beloved Pope Benedict does not intend to use this Lenten season as his Garden of Gethsemane, taking himself away from the crowd in order to deeply discern the will of his Father and offer his dying for his flock. If that is the case, then we should all –unlike the apostles– remain awake to pray with him and for him. I thank God for His gift of this great pope in our time.

  83. I will say, I’m not surprised that he resigned, I am surprised at the timing. Let us pray for Holy Mother Church, the conclave and for Pope Benedict XVI….My own thoughts at my blog which can be clicked by my user name.

  84. Stumbler but trying says:

    @ marthawrites…yes, I agree and that is the sense that has been with me all day after I stopped crying. I am praying and will pray that we will stay awake and keep watch with our beloved Papa. One can not even begin to imagine what he is feeling, whether a burden has been lifted or he feels the weight of the cross pressing in on him, one thing is sure, the Lord has answered his prayer and he will be free to pray in silence away from the world as he will be lifting all of us up in his prayers.
    It was revealed after the death of JPII, his was also a desire to “retire” to a monastery and spend his remaining days in prayer but it was not to be.
    St. Joesph, watch over our Holy Father as he soon prepares to leave us all and enter the life of prayer in the quiet of the monastery.

  85. happyCatholic says:

    I appreciate your posts reminding us to trust. Yes, Jesus, I trust in you.

    And Sciencemom,
    Great idea about adopting the cardinal-electors. I hope there is more information forthcoming on that.

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