Fr Z recalls Pope Benedict’s abdication

From Fr Z’s Blog:

benedict xvi resignation abdicationOn this dark day in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was to resign his office at Bishop of Rome.  He would step down on 28 February.

He announced to a hastily assembled consistory of Cardinals and others:

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 barque 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


On this same day, 11 February, lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica.

The photo from Agence France-Presse:

I’ll bet you remember where you were when you heard about this astonishing announcement.

I remember my reaction: “You gave up WHAT for Lent?”  Then I had Eggs Benedict for breakfast.

Seriously, I was pretty much floored.

Click HERE.

In the meantime, remember…


See also:

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7 Responses to Fr Z recalls Pope Benedict’s abdication

  1. Michael says:

    I do miss him so. In the (rather moving, I found) documentary at the bottom of the post, the following was said:

    “Everything Benedict did pointed to Christ.”

    This is very true – he was a truly humble pope, and no matter how deeply he would delve into a given topic, often enriching our understanding of philosophy and culture as well as theology, he would always bring it back to Our Lord. I remember this particularly during his visit to the UK, where he made some really incisive comments about history and culture, but kept everything woven together with that constant theme of personal relationship with and faith in Jesus Christ.

  2. kathleen says:

    “I do miss him so.”

    Me too, Michael. 😥
    Whether that is mostly due to our dear Pope Benedict XVI’s profoundly insightful and illuminating homilies, his fatherly care for the Church and its traditions, or his sweet and gentle holiness…. or whether it has more to do with these last three very difficult years of so much confusion and almost daily shocks we have been dealt under a completely, er, different kind of Pope – I really don’t know.
    Anyway, I wholly concur with everything you say (so beautifully) about Pope Benedict.

    The lovely short biographical video was made by Maryla’s talented son, Philip. And the well-spoken accompanying commentary was provided by her husband. 🙂

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    A very welcome retrospective on the ministry of a great man and pope.

  4. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 22:07, February 11th:

    Very good point regarding the contrast with Pope Francis – when the clarity, insight and fatherly care for the Church and its traditions you mention are mainly notable by their absence, it certainly does make you appreciate the gifts of the previous pontificate more!

    A heartfelt thank you (and compliments) to Maryla’s son and husband with respect to that video by the way – I very much enjoyed it 🙂

  5. mmvc says:

    Thank you, Kathleen, Michael and JH. I’ve passed your appreciation on to my men :o)

  6. David O'Neill says:

    The saddest day in the recent history of the Church which has left open the door for the modernists to come in, and come in they have!! God Bless Pope Benedict & thanks to those who produced such a tear-jerking film

  7. toadspittle says:

    Benedict always seemed so cheerful.
    I think Francis takes life too seriously.

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