28 February 2013 – Benedict XVI…

6 years ago today…

The Holy Father is leaving the Apostolic Palace to go to Castel Gandolfo.

Some images…

Our final view of Pope Benedict XVI as Roman Pontiff.

UPDATE:  The doors are closed.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Thomas S says:

    Six years later and he’s still alive… right next door.

    And all I can picture looking at those images are all this sodomy-loving jackals in the College of Cardinals gloating while they watched this.

    It’s too awful a reminder.

  2. mysticalrose says:

    I was heartbroken then and I am heartbroken now. It is hard to believe that we have endured this dark night of the Church for six years. How long, O Lord?

  3. stuart reiss says:

    My thoughts exactly. Christ didn’t come off the cross. A father never ceases to be the father to his children and say, well I’ll just be praying from now onwards. I’m sure he’s a good man but a modernist through and through. And responsible for much of what’s going on now

  4. acardnal says:

    And let’s not forget the lightning bolt that struck the top of St. Peter’s. Portentous.

  5. happyCatholic says:

    I remember watch in — painful then, even more painful now.

  6. Spinmamma says:

    I watched it live with an astounded mind and breaking heart. I texted my RCIA teacher and he could not believe it. I echo the sentiments of others—painful then, even more painful now.

  7. Kevin says:

    Very sad day! I pray for a man just like him to be our next Pope.

  8. bobbird says:

    There may never even be a “Next Pope”. The Akita Message I believe has said, “The final fight between Heaven and hell will be over the family.”

    That was “final fight”, not “the next fight”. Of course, it could last through several pontificates. As usual, Heaven merely permits us glimpses.

  9. St. Irenaeus says:

    I was, and am, heartbroken over his resignation, and that heartbreak is compounded by the wolves that have taken over. That said, I wonder if under Providence it’s not best for someone else to be facing the crises now, instead of having Benedict blamed for them. Put differently, it’d be nice if the current papacy ends up discrediting liberal/progressive theology forever, whereas if Benedict were in charge it might be the JPII-BXVI project being discredited. But who knows; we’ll be dead by the time history could make a judgment on that.

  10. Fallibilissimo says:

    I knew you would inflict this memory on us Fr (it’s you’re job I know).

    What a day…so much pain. It doesnt’t feel like yesterday, it feels like it happened just today. I think in my own life and for the Church in general, it feels so heart-wrenching and odd.

    I remember I had a vivid and terrible nightmare when it happened. St Peter’s dome and the whole Basilica was split in two…everything was weird.

    This whole “day” has been painful as it has been strange. God have mercy on us all.

  11. Cy says:

    Why Holy Father?

  12. adriennep says:

    Pope Benedict was a “modernist”? Give me a break.

    I thank Father Z for providing us these heartbreaking images. Could anything have been worse than seeing that helicopter receding into the distance over the skies around St. Peter’s? And especially so for me since he was responsible for my coming into the Catholic Church, after the death of John Paul II.

    Please do not go bad mouthing Pope Benedict or his decision. The truth of his resignation may not be revealed in any of our lifetimes. And it is entirely possible he was somehow silenced, blackmailed by St. Gallen mafia, et al. We don’t know. The filth is only now busting open. For a really thorough examination of the story so far, I highly recommend Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon’s videos on the subject, available on YouTube, etc.

  13. So sad! I miss him dearly.

  14. Geoffrey says:

    More than one commentator has opined that Benedict XVI’s resignation was indeed the will of God, as it seems to be exposing the filth behind the scenes. Heretics are emerging from out of the shadows, etc. That lightning bolt may not have been divine anger at the Pope Emeritus’ act, but a sign of things to come…

  15. MrsAnchor says:

    @Bobbird.. exactly correct! I wish more of our fellow Catholics understood what’s really going on.
    So many complacent and scandalized to even bother thinking of the tactical warfare about them before the end. Get your affairs in order and your grandkids, children rear them well for the Final Battle. We do die. Our Earthly time is not in Vain. We must become interiors fortresses of Virtue to remain on the narrow path. If we have to face internment Camps how will most of us “feel”? Start enlistment in Spiritual Bootcamp to survive

  16. St. Irenaeus says:

    From Rod Dreher today in the context of the Martel book:

    “On the question of Benedict, who did see more clearly — Martel credits Ratzinger for moving aggressively against Maciel — I believe that he was and is such an intellectual that he did not grasp the seriousness of the situation until he started getting post-Boston information from US dioceses when he was head of the CDF. A Vatican source of mine back then told me that the fax machine at the CDF was “like an open sewer” dumping information from American dioceses into the office every day. My source told me that it’s easy for Americans to think that the Vatican knows everything, but they would be shocked to discover how antiquated and compartmentalized the Curia is. Running the CDF from Boston until his election as pope three years later radicalized Benedict.

    But it didn’t radicalize him enough, it seems. Or, to see it more charitably (and I have been told this by a clerical source who knows Ratzinger), Benedict himself did not understand how sexually corrupt the senior leadership of the Church was until near the end of his papacy. On Martel’s telling, Ratzinger decided to resign after his trip to Cuba, and hearing firsthand how gay and active the Cuban clergy are. It was so shocking to him that the pope wept, says Martel. Like everything Martel reports, it’s impossible to know how truthful that anecdote is, but the Cuba part of the book, like the Lopez Trujillo section, is one of the more solidly reported.

    The source of mine who knows BXVI told me — this was years ago — that one day he realized that his enemies had him surrounded, and he had no power left with which to fight them. Recall that the traditionalist Catholic press has reported that the bishop who heads the Society of St. Pius X once personally challenged BXVI to use his authority as Pope to end the various crises in the Catholic Church. BXVI reportedly pointed to the entrance of his office and said: “My authority ends at that door.”

    Did that really happen? I don’t know. But if it did, then that remark of Benedict’s was an astute, if deeply depressing, observation about how power actually works in the Catholic Church. Or, if one were to be less charitable, it was a papal surrender. I remember hearing that and thinking, “But why can’t the Pope just go out and make a big speech, and tell the world what he’s doing and why he’s doing it?”

    Well, if Martel’s book is in any way reliable — I know that’s a big “if” — the answer is that most of the men the pope would have depended on to execute his orders were so personally compromised that they would not have been able to without destroying themselves. Hence Benedict’s resignation. My source — and for transparency’s sake, I’m telling you that this is only one source — said that BXVI hoped that whoever the cardinals elected to follow him would have the stamina and support to clean out the Augean stables.”


  17. SKAY says:

    There are still so many questions about why.
    It was a very sad day.

  18. bourgja says:

    What a tragic day.

  19. JesusFreak84 says:

    One of the rare times I’ve cried as an adult where it wasn’t an autistic meltdown…

  20. monstrance says:

    In the photo of Benedict XVI deplaning the helicopter –
    Who or what is the gentleman in the space suit ?

  21. Josh says:

    Holy Father, why did you abandon us to the wolves?

  22. Ellen says:

    I miss that holy, humble and learned man so much.

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    monstrance: I’m not sure, but he may be the chief of the “crash crew” in a flame-retardant suit minus the hood. Such as with this photo from New River Air Station in North Carolina:


    God bless Pope Benedict XVI and thank you for Summorum Pontificum, the many books, and interviews with Peter Seewald.

  24. Hidden One says:

    Such a terribly painful day. It feels like it was not so long ago.

  25. un-ionized says:

    Monstrance, he’s a fireman. You can tell by the hat.

  26. OssaSola says:

    And the wolves close in, tearing at the Bride of Christ.

  27. veritas vincit says:

    ‘BXVI reportedly pointed to the entrance of his office and said: “My authority ends at that door.”’

    When Benedict XVI was elected, detractors called him the “Panzer Pope.”

    If only that were true.

    The Pope is the only absolute monarch left in the Western world. Even allowing for being dependent on the Curia for carrying out his orders, I find it hard to believe Benedict was as powerless as that alleged quote depicts. I wish that Benedict had more of a touch of Francis’s ruthlessness, employing it to cleanse the Church.

  28. monstrance says:

    I think you are correct – but he looks out of place.

  29. JGavin says:

    Still think it was a horrible idea.

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