Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, February 11, 2013

Papa Benedetto Announces Resignation

Waking up this morning & turning on EWTN radio to listen to it as I started my day I didn't hear what I usually hear, a rerun of Mother Angelica live. Instead I hear Fr. Mitch Pacwa reading the following from Papa Benedetto:

"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.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

Needless to say, I was surprized & a little shocked to hear that Papa Benedetto is resigning. But, I also realize that he is doing this because he feels it is what is best for the Catholic Church. He isn't doing it rashly, but after a period of prayer & discernment. If he felt that God was calling him to go on, he wouldn't have resigned. 
Papa Benedetto announced his resignation at a Consistory held at the Vatican today.
There is historic precedence for this. But it has been 600 years since the last resignation. Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415. He did so in order to end the Western Schism.
In this case, Papa Benedetto is doing so in order to ensure that the Barque of Peter has a capable leader at the helm. At the end of the month Papa Benedetto will retire, probably to a monastery, & spend the rest of his life in prayerful intercession for the Catholic Church. So his ministry will to the Church will continue is a different form. But it will continue.
Of course the guessing who will be elected in the Conclave next month has begun. I have no definite ideas myself. All I will do is pray for the Cardinals to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Another area of speculation is what will he be called. He is definitely going to be the Bishop emeritus of Rome. But will he also be Pope emeritus & go by Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI or revert to being called Cardinal Ratzinger. Regardless of the official title, most people will continue to refer to him as Pope Benedict. 
I will make 1 prediction. The liberal left will be rejoicing & predicting that the next Pope will be one that will implement their agenda to destroy the Church, just like they did before the elections of Popes John Paul I, John Paul II & Benedetto XVI. Once again they will be disappointed. The next Pope will not turn the Church around, but continue on the course set by the Holy Spirit. Yes, he will have a different style. But I am sure he will be faithful to what has gone before.
Meanwhile, Papa Benedetto will continue to guide the Church for the next 2-1/2 weeks. From what was said on the live show on EWTN that could include a new Encyclical as well as the post-Synodical exhortation from last year's synod on The New Evagelization. I wouldn't be surprized if this did happen as it would be nothing more than what you would expect from him. He will be a shepherd til the end.
Like I said, I was shocked & surprized by the news. It seems like yesterday that Papa Benedetto was elected. Much as I loved Pope John Paul II, I couldn't have been happier with the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as pope.  I knew at the time that he wouldn't be Pope as long as his predecessor. What I never expected was this. 
Yet, as I said, I know that he is doing what is best for the Catholic Church. Yes, I am saddened by the news. I also rejoice, for I see God's guiding hand in what is going on. 
I am sure I will have much more to reflect on as the day of his resignation draws near. But for now I will end with saying, tearfully, "Thank you dear Papa Benedetto for your faithful service to Jesus & to His Church. Know that is has helped me in my journey of faith to grow closer to Jesus & more faithfully follow Him in living out my faith. May God bless you as you prepare to step down. & may he continue to use you in your new role as intercessor for the Church. & when that day comes, may you hear from Jesus, 'Well done, good & faithful servant. Come, share your Master's joy.'"


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