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The Pope Resigns: What Do You Think?

Pontiff, 85, will step down Feb. 28 as bishop of Rome; his name will revert to Joseph Ratzinger.

As reported by The Associated Press, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced his resignation before cardinals at a ceremony to name three new saints.

According to a post on Poynter.org:

Many news organizations have reported that Pope Gregory XII was the last leader of the Roman Catholic Church to resign, in 1415. However, in this clip NBC Vatican analyst George Weigel says it’s been “717 years” since the last pope abdicated, by which he probably means Celestine V, who resigned 719 years ago, in 1294.

Gregory was not the pope for whom was named the Gregorian calendar (that was Gregory XIII) or Gregorian chant (Gregory the Great or Gregory II, opinions differ). XII resigned so the church could unite under a single pope after a schism. He died in 1417. Here’s some background on papal resignations.

Here is the pope's announcement. It has been translated into English:

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.

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Michael February 11, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Big surprise. He seems like a great person, but he was in the shadow of John Paul II- who was a huge historical figure. He and Reagan took on the Soviets- and won. John Paul and Reagan broke off Poland from them and the other dominos fell. Tough act to follow. They need a "younger" Pope, maybe 60 that can take on the world more aggressively. Not "Crusades" level, but closer to it. Sounds like he is thinking the same thing.
Vito Spago February 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Pope is like the rest of us. Work sucks. Time to quit and get on the entitlement food chain.
Ron Moon February 11, 2013 at 09:56 PM
As a person who left the Catholic Church I have no opinion on Mr. Razzinger no longer being the Pope of the Catholic Church. I do however have an opinion of a man who was aware of ALL reported CHILD MOLESTATION incidents in the Church by his Own Directive. It was business as usual unless someone not affiliated with the Church forced their hand i.e. this month when the Church was forced by the Courts to produce Documents with Cardinal Mahoney's name attached to them. These "Men" destroyed the Lives of too many Children all under the watch of the Vatican. All Public Reports indicate it continues to occur to this date. This is the Sin of it all. As to the Cliche "Those with out Sin" etc. does not apply here. It's innocent Children who were assaulted by People they Trusted.
Vov February 11, 2013 at 10:05 PM
The Pope apologized for the sins of teh Church. Indeed, now if only we could also "leave the school system", "leave the youth league". The Church reflects what also is true for every other church or place where youth assemble under adult supervision: THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE WITH AUTHORITY WHO ABUSE LITTLE KIDS. The only exceptional thing about the Church versus the methodist church groups, or the public schools, or the youth leagues, is that they are the only ones being called out in the public arena for these wrongs and conveniently you can hammer away at them day and night therefore unlike the other groups that do this and continue to abuse children on a daily basis.
JSB February 11, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Good riddance.
Aisha Cohen February 11, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Popes don't quit unless it's for political or legal reasons. Razzinger was one of the most controversial popes in recent history. They don't resign due to illness, they just plod on until they die, usually in their sleep. Razzinger has so many skeletons in his closet that there's no room for his papal gear...
bryce February 11, 2013 at 11:57 PM
That's what I'm saying: "GOOD RIDDANCE!" ... who cares anyway? Just other nuts all wound up & hung up on that insane, archaic, secretive, counterfactual, nonsense that IS the catholic church! You tell 'em Ron Moon! Just like Mahoney in Los Angeles, ...they're ALL culpable but yet still complacent in most instances; & they're ALL twisted & sick. (still won't give condoms out in outreach programs in Africa, where they NEED THEM THE MOST!! How retarded)
James Gale February 12, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Reminds me a bit of a film I watched recently about a pope who refuses to accept the position. Very funny.
Vov February 12, 2013 at 12:08 AM
And the moral standard that you allow yourself "bryce" to judge everyone in the Church as so sick is exactly what?? Lots of venom against the Catholic Church being spouted here by guess who? Why its non-Catholics of course!! If this kind of outrage was sincere , it'd be foisted against the "twisted and sick" public school system and youth leagues and any other group where adults lead children and continue to abuse them day in and day out, after all the pop star just really loves little kids, no? . but what I read here instead is simply anti-Catholic hate speech and so it should be treated as such. attn Patch!
Slim Jim February 12, 2013 at 12:11 AM
I think his obvious replacement should be Father Guido Sarducci!
Robert Corona February 12, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Well,,, guess I won't be seeing you guys at Mass.
Martin William Pistilli February 12, 2013 at 03:45 AM
who gives a crap now maybe the next pope will take the child abuse more serious! I do not understand why someone would want to be catholic or become catholic because of these sex CRIMES and if most of the catholic knew about some of the past history of the church they would for sure leave
Michael February 12, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Every church organization has problems with men/people running them- the Liberal media has always loved pounding on Catholics because it's so easy to influence people like you. Catholic charities in the US do more good than just about any organization. The Church has an AWESOME history- but I wish they would go back to their roots. The Moslems are spreading their culture of death around the world- it would be great if there was a counter force to this like the Crusades. The USA used to lead the world, but you can forget about that now- Ronald Reagan is long gone.
bryce February 15, 2013 at 03:06 AM
VOV: the moral standard!? There's only one standard I use: " do unto others...." (Period) I know right from wrong, & yes, VOV, I know all not ALL Catholics are totally twisted (duh) - but from way, way out in the larger picture, im coming at this thinking the WHOLE thing is flawed, & sick- Its just one variety of a broader, more unappealing handicap that is religion as whole. Its ALL the same bag, (muslims, christians, & all the rest) - when you stop quibbling over who " believes" this & that, & deprogram from ALL that crap! But I know you're gonna tell me how much good they do..& pull the cozy wool back over your eyes. When you 'pray' ...you are 'prey'. I'm good without, thanks. (PS: yes, I am catholic bashing, they already get more respect than they deserve. And if u think that's bad, ....i should tell ya what I think about scientologist & Mormons.... They actually have Catholics beat in the psycho-sick-o category.)
bryce February 15, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Michael W. : Are you outta your mind !? An "awesome history" !?? you're post is mind numbing- where exactly are you getting your facts about this ??? • Ahem!!!! (LOL) ...let me guess, ...the bible!/? ....hahahahaaahee!!!!!! (get it? its a joke, like your rose colored glasses)
Michael February 15, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I was referring to the Crusades where they freed Spain/Europe and other areas from Moslem tyranny. I imagine you think living under Sharia Law is paradise.
bryce February 16, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Hmmm.... Ok, so you can add that one to the "plus" category... I'll give ya that. I hate them outright, but can objectively add some other ones to to their credit as well (service deeds that were as recent as the 20th century in fact) - but whenever I tally both column, somehow the negative, reprehensible category manages to FAR & wide dwarf all the "good they do (or have done)". - AND when it comes to social issues...they have been almost ALWAYS wrong.

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