Pope Benedict resigns from papacy

Pope Benedict XVI exits Christmas Eve mass to bless the nativity scene in Vatican City, Italy.
courtesy of Catherine Considine '13

Pope Benedict XVI exits Christmas Eve mass to bless the nativity scene in Vatican City, Italy. courtesy of Catherine Considine ’13

Pope Benedict XVI exits Christmas Eve mass to bless the nativity scene in Vatican City, Italy.
courtesy of Catherine Considine ’13

Pope Benedict XVI has made history by becoming the first Pope since 1415 to resign from the papacy. His announcement on Monday, February 11 came as a shock to Catholics all over the world including members of the Convent of the Sacred Heart community.
According to The New York Times, the Pope’s decision was announced during a routine meeting to decide on the canonization of three saint candidates. Only two cardinals knew about his decision beforehand.
“Benedict read a statement that said, in part, that after examining his 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 leading the world’s one billion Roman Catholics,’” The New York Times columnists Rachel Donadio and Nicholas Kulish wrote in their article “A statement Rocks Rome, then Sends Shockwaves around the World.”
A representative for the Pope told The Wall Street Journal that after Benedict XVI resigns, he will retreat to a monastery to reflect through prayer and writing.
Elected as the Church’s 256 Pope, Benedict began his papacy on April 19, 2005. The then 78-year-old became the oldest pope elected since 1730, and the first German Pope elected in half a millennium.
Although many are shocked to hear about his resignation, it comes with great understanding from the Sacred Heart community.
“I commend Benedict XVI for recognizing and acknowledging that he doesn’t have the physical stamina to fulfill the demands of his role as the leader of the Church,” Kathleen Dolan, RSCJ and Part Time Minister of Sacred Heart Spirituality said.
Benedict’s older brother, Rev. Georg Ratzinger told The New York Times that the 85yearold’s “age was taking its toll.”
“I believe that this will prove to be an important moment for the future of the Catholic Church,” Sister Dolan said. “The next pope will face many demands and challenges and I pray that he will have the courage to lead the Church forward in the spirit of Vatican II.”
Pope Benedict XVI will officially resign on February 28, and shortly afterwards the cardinals will begin electing a new Pope.
 
– Kim Benza, Editor-in-Chief
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/europe/pope-benedict-xvi-says-he-will-retire.html?pagewanted=all
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324880504578297543433266804.html