2nd anniversary of Benedict XVI’s resignation

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Today is the 2nd anniversary of one of the saddest days I can recall in the life of the Church. Benedict XVI announced his resignation. At first, I didn’t believe it. Then I watched the video.

The Catholic Herald has a piece about it. HERE

February 11 is a holiday in the Vatican. It is the day when the Holy See celebrates the settlement in 1929 of the so-called “Roman Question”, the resolution of the 59-year stand-off between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See after the fall of Rome in 1870 to the Kingdom’s troops and the effective end of the ancient Papal States in central Italy.

By chance it was also the day Pope Benedict XVI chose to resign.

The date had been scheduled for a small consistory, comprising midday prayer and the announcement by Cardinal Angelo Amato of some beati due to be promoted to saints. There had also been a little gentle buzz for some time in the Roman Curia about the Holy Father announcing one or two important changes then, perhaps near the top of the administration, but these kinds of rumours circle like the seagulls around the Vatican’s Belvedere: they come round frequently, make a bit of noise and go away again. In other words, as in most places, nothing happens until it happens.

There was no indication that this day was going to be any different. It was also a holiday, and although the rest of the Curia was enjoying a rest, the few people around the person of the Holy Father, including myself, were to be on duty in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala del Concistoro to welcome him as he went to pray with the cardinals present in Rome and to go through the short ceremony.


Moderation queue is ON, for the sake of those who don’t self-edit.

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  1. I read that piece from the Catholic Herald this morning with tears. I will never understand it but must try to trust that he knew what he was doing.

  2. msc says:

    This is a very sad day for me. I was lucky that JPII was Pope when I was ready to convert, and I was lucky to have Benedict as my second Pope. I have been re-reading his Eschatology and I so dearly wish he had been a bit younger when he was elected. He has the gift of not only being brilliant, but a gifted teacher. He could have been a great boon to evangelization. And, of course, liturgical re-reform would have made significant progress with him around to shepherd it. How could such a deep lover of Mozart not have done so? I think I’ll go pour myself a small single malt, put on Mozart’s Mass in C, and say a quiet prayer for this quietly great man.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    I too read this piece and felt the eyes beginning to fill.

  4. Gratias says:

    Benedict XVI has left us his wisdom in writing. He is praying for us. I pray for his long life frequently. Vielen Dank für Summorum Pontificum, Heilige Vater.

  5. Akita says:

    My heart is broken since that day. Keeping Papa Benedict in my prayers.

    History will be kind to him as his heroic act of 07/07/2007 echoes down the centuries. By this act alone he will have restored The West, and thus Civilization.

  6. ThankyouB16 says:

    I just got a pit in my stomach. He was so good: and his writings were clear, and always very “pastoral,” for those who would smear him.

    I trusted him. I felt safe from the wolves.

    I am sorry to say that I do not feel safe with our current Shepherd. This truly tears me up inside, and makes me feel guilty, rash, Promethean-Neo-Pel…you know. Maybe I am; I hope it’s just me and my own weak faith. I can manage ME being the problem–but the alternative? It’s so painful to think.

    I wrote B16 a card for Christmas thanking him for all he did, especially his unleashing the Traditional Latin Mass. I hope he got it.

  7. HighMass says:

    philothea.distracted says:

    I to Philothea will never understand it….also a day met with tears, and sadness…….
    One still wonders if Pope Benedict was forced to resign….

    One of the GREATEST Pontiffs in Modern History, so HUMBLE and KIND….

    This one will live in sadness in our hearts until Jesus calls me home!
    Pope Benedict We Love YOU and to say how much we wish you were still Pope is not easy to put into words.

    May God Grant you MANY MANY MANY more YEARS

  8. Joseph-Mary says:

    Yes, it was a sad day indeed. I was thinking at Mass this morning about how if the shepherd is struck, the sheep will scatter…

  9. Robbie says:

    I remember the moment I learned of the news as if it was yesterday. I’m still perplexed by it and I doubt that will ever change. I wish I had a time machine and could go back and persuade Benedict to change his mind.

  10. juergensen says:

    Can’t believe it’s already been two years. Time is supposed to go slow when you’re not having fun.

  11. oldsouledtory says:

    Benedict’s writings and example (as well as reading and remembering Fr. Z—”Go to confession!”) were critical in convincing me to flee Southern-fried Protestantism for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church a few years ago. After enduring for so long weekly rock concerts put on by various campus ministries during my time at a major state university, it was refreshing to discover and meditate in silence upon the fruits of Benedict’s research and reflections, particularly on catechesis and the liturgy. It floored me then to hear of his resignation; even now, I miss his characteristic clarity in teaching and resolve in opposing the dictatorship of relativism from his years in the Chair of St. Peter.

  12. TNCath says:

    A sad day, indeed, in which we still wonder why. Prayers for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

  13. Iacobus M says:

    Man, do I miss Papa Benedetto!

  14. jherforth says:

    This was not as shocking to me at the time as I was just starting to return to the fullness of the faith that I grew up with. Now that I’ve come back, I can only look back and wished I was there to appreciate Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he was Pope. I will be praying for the next Pope to be just as grand as Pope Emeritus was and still is.

    After watching the videos and thinking about articles that have since been written with regards to the possible collusion in anticipation of the conclave (not to sound conspiratorial), I can only hope that there is not window given in which the influence of man has time to work. I would hope that if Pope Francis were to do the same that the conclave would begin within the next few days of the announcement.

  15. kevinm says:

    Yes, a truly sad day, on a number of levels. While saddened, I am still angry that a father would abandon his family. When I think of how bravely St. John Paul II bore his weakness and infirmity and did not run away, my anger unfortunately grows. When I see or read things like: ” Who am I to judge”, or this preoccupation with global warming and other intrusions into secular matters, while the inmates are taking over the asylum in Rome I cannot help but say to Pope Benedict….: “How could you”? He talked the talk, but did not walk the walk….
    Hopefully the endtimes are near !!!!!!!


  16. anna 6 says:

    This is a sad and painful anniversary.

    I am hoping and praying that something will be planned at the Vatican to acknowledge the 10th Anniversary of his election this April. It is very important that his profound legacy is remembered and honored.

  17. Nathan says:

    Praise and thanks be to Almighty God for the pontificate of Benedict XVI:

    –For Summorum Pontificum, so that I can now hear Sunday Holy Mass in tranquility.
    –For Pope Benedict’s clear explanation of the Truth
    –For his writings, from the soaring Caritas Deus Est to the brilliant (and conversational) style of Jesus of Nazareth
    –For his bravery in the face of the world’s condemnations, especially the Regensburg Address

    I felt that he was a Pope who was a special grace for me, one who spoke directly to me every time I encountered his words. Pope St John Paul II had brilliant insights, but it always takes me a lot of work to dig them out. Pope Paul was clear, but plaintive, in Humanae Vitae. Every time I read or heard Pope Benedict, the light bulb came on in my head. His pontificate, IMO, was a special gift to the Church.

    In Christ,

  18. JesusFreak84 says:

    A long Lent began then; I’m still waiting for Easter T_T

  19. Giuseppe says:

    Regensberg will turn out to be the most important address given in this century.
    And when the the Pope resigned and Charlie Hebdo had an insulting cover of him, no one was killed.
    Plus, I fell in love with the Latin Mass under Pope Benedict XVI.

  20. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Benedict looked like death warmed over at his resignation. I think the burdens of office would have certainly killed him in a few more weeks. Thank God he stepped down to regain his interior peace and remain with us, inspiring and blessing the Church as he has these last two years. He also, providentially, gave us the gift of challenging us toward spiritual maturity. In his absence, the lesson to be learned is not to be so passive and cavalier about our Catholic traditions. If we want to transmit them, we cannot be satisfied to merely hang on to the pope’s apron strings, like pouting children. It’s time for devout Catholics to be real adults in their faith.

  21. Kristyn says:

    I don’t know that I would have converted if Francis had been pope in 2004-2009 (the years I was discerning). Benedict was so clear, so direct—he made me feel safe, that the Church was a secure place that I could trust. _Jesus of Nazareth_ ministered to my soul and I can remember being warmed by Benedict’s affection for Jesus. To say I miss him is an understatement.

  22. gaudiumcumpace says:

    I don’t quite understand why so many are downcast. Our Holy Fathers since St Peter are Christ’s Vicar, not Christ himself. I truly appreciated Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, St John Paul II as well as the many rich writings left to us by many many previous Popes. The point is to not get wholly attached to the person, rather to the closeness which each Pope has brought us closer to Christ through their example as well as writings. Christ is Whom we seek in the Love that The Holy Spirit can nourish us with. Be glad! Be joyful for the present Holy Father. He, like so many of his predecessors, cause us to look into our faith, to see where we are on this wonderful adventure we call life! Rather than feel bad or sad about Pope Benedict’s departure, be thankful and glad for his time, example and writings left to us!

  23. jlong says:

    Surely one of the finest Popes of the 20th century, and the best since Pius XII

  24. oldconvert says:

    I remember how my heart lifted when Father Benedict became Pope, and how it sank when he announced his resignation. One day, maybe, we will discover why he resigned so suddenly; I’m sure we haven’t heard the whole story yet. God bless and keep him always.

  25. mysticalrose says:

    I love Pope Benedict, but I will always feel a little betrayed by his resignation.

  26. benedictgal says:

    Yes. This is a very long Lent. I cried then and continue to weep. I have tried “reading Francis through Benedict”, but it is difficult.

    With the way things are happening in the Church these days, I have begun to make the reflection that the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote for the Ninth Station my own prayer:


    What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison ­ Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).


    Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.

    We seem to be living those very words today.

  27. Per Signum Crucis says:

    This day is the Catholic equivalent of Dallas, Texas, 22nd November 1963: I know exactly where I was when the news broke. My reaction spanned astonishment then curiosity – why? – and, yes, sadness but not anger, understandable though that may have been at the suddenness of it all. Even now, we are still too close to the event to see it clearly – although the suggestion of one of the commenters on the Catholic Herald piece that it was a necessary action to draw out the poison is an interesting one.

  28. Lin says:

    It was an incredibly sad day. Only to be followed by a very uneasy feeling on the day Bergolio was elected. I did not know anything about him but was seriously concerned and still am. I pray for both daily. Benedict must also be concerned for the immediate future of the Church.

  29. It might not be too late for all of us to flood into St Peter’s Square and form ourselves into the words ‘Come Back – All Is Forgiven’.

  30. Pnkn says:

    He announced his resignation on my birthday. He began his pontificate on my mother’s birthday. He is only a couple of days older than my father – born on Holy Weekend.. Listening to him was always like listening to one of my grandfathers (Munich, Austria, Poland). So comforting, so profound. And I was born into a Lutheran family…My parents lived 3500 miles from theirs, who were migrants to Canada…He is the grandpapa I never had.

  31. Eugene says:

    The saddest day in my life as a Catholic. I still can’t comprehend it and can’t believe the evil heterodox forces that have been unleashed from within and outside the church since this saintly man left the office. May God have mercy on us!

  32. Geoffrey says:

    I recall a rather moving but largely ignored “tribute” given to His Holiness the Pope Emeritus. At the last World Youth Day, Pope Francis made a mention of thanks to Benedict XVI, and the crowds of youth began that all-too familiar chant “Benedetto!” Pope Francis himself then joined in as well. I was hoping to find a video clip of this on You Tube or something, but no…

  33. Gail F says:

    I run a Catholic news and features web site, most if it local but also things about the Church as a whole, associated with a Catholic radio station. That morning I got up at 6:30 and saw it on Facebook when I checked it after breakfast. I couldn’t believe it. Then — !!! I realized I had better get busy writing! The radio station has a syndicated morning show and they were talking to people in Rome. I had to write a “breaking news” article, then all kinds of pieces for days about what would happen, when, what it meant, etc. What a shock. God bless Benedict and Francis! I trust that Pope Benedict knew very well what he was doing.

  34. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Sadness and anxiety.

  35. JBS says:

    The best way to honor him is to place a cross on every altar and a Prie Dieu in every Communion line.

  36. Gerard Plourde says:

    I am thankful for the service that Pope Emetitus Benedict gave to the Church over the entirety of his career. I beleive that his resignation can be explained in light of his experience of the twilight of St. John Paul’s pontificate. Knowing that fallible human beings staff the structure of the Church and knowing that the Pope’s role as supreme legislator is vital to the effective functioning of that structure, he recognized that much mischief can occur in a period that is in essence an extended period of regency. He wanted to avoid having the work he had begun to restructure the operation of the Curia, especially in the area of effectively dealing with the sin of sexual abuse (it was on his iniative that jurisdiction over these cases were transferred to the CDF from the Cnogregation for the Clergy) be stillborn. His final act of public service to the Church was to revive the established but long-dormant mechanism of resignation. This observation is not to be taken as a criticism of St. John Paul. His heroic witness to the value of patient suffering and preparation for death was one the world needed.

  37. SanSan says:

    hmmm? interesting that my post yesterday did not appear……hitting too close to the quick? Italian Freemasonary at the Vatican–it may be news to some. Cardinal Jan Pawel Lenga’s open letter brings so much to the light, it is blinding, eh?

  38. SanSan says:

    mea culpa!

  39. Andkaras says:

    Let us not be so mournful,as if He were dead.He is still with us and setting a brilliant example. He has left us a body of work so extensive that It will take well into the next Papacy to plumb its mines. Someone once said that listening to him was like watching a string of pearls coming from out of his mouth. HF Francis has pearls also. It may be a broken strand-we may have to chase them down and gather them up .We may have to search for them from under the furniture. But they are pearls none the less.

  40. ofHippo says:

    It still hurts…like it did..if not more so

  41. Holy Mackerel says:

    I remain convinced that Father Benedict’s decision was an elevated – a HEROIC – act of prudence and humility. He is on a path to be the most misunderstood and misrepresented man of the 21st century; may he not be so among those who love him. May God bless him abundantly.

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