Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Chruch is sustained by God and tradition during times of change.

The world is abuzz with the news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign, citing advanced age and infirmity. While this may be an emotional time for many Catholics, it is important to keep perspective. Knowing what happens next and understanding the power of Church tradition is important.

Pope Benedict XVI will return to being known as Cardinal Ratzinger following his resignation.

Pope Benedict XVI will return to being known as Cardinal Ratzinger following his resignation.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Benedict XVI, Holy Father, resignation, College of Cardinals


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict issued a statement on Monday, saying that "that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

This is a sad occasion, but to be expected. No man, no matter how great or beloved, lives forever. It is a testament to the greatness of his work that so many people are inclined to tears following the announcement. However, the Holy Father has worked hard in spite of many infirmities. He has earned his rest and reward.

It is also a wise move, since a pope must be energetic and capable. A pope is one of the world's last true monarchs, presiding over an institution that's literally as ancient as the Roman Empire. With over one billion Catholics in the world, the Holy Father also presides over the largest church in all world history. To effectively govern, a pope must be in good health, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Some speculate that Pope Benedict's inability to work for extended periods without considerable aid and without being distracted by his age and infirmity led him to conclude that the office is best filled by another member of the Church. However, it is a sign of his humility. 

Papal resignations are unprecedented in modern times, however Church law does permit resignation. To resign, a pope must make the decision freely, and he must be of sound mind. The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415. That resignation was intended to help end the "Great Western Schism" in which several members of the clergy, influenced by the political chaos of the period, claimed the right to be pope.

The resignation of a pope however, is not a crisis for the Church and should not be construed as such.

The Roman Catholic Church has endured a great many challenges in its long and illustrious history since the time of Jesus Christ. Many dangers and persecutions have befallen the church, yet at every turn, the Church has emerged as strong as ever.

The resignation of Benedict will not affect the operation, nor the well-being of the Church. At most, it could cause delays in handling high-level church business, however, that will not affect the individual parishioner, the ability to celebrate the Sacraments or do the work of the Church. 

On February, 28, at 8 p.m. local time in the Vatican, the Holy Father will end his papal reign. At that time, it will be necessary for the Church to elect a new pope.

The election process will begin the next morning with a special mass in the Sistine Chapel. That afternoon, the College of Cardinals will convene to elect the pope. Three cardinals will be chosen by lottery to collect votes, three more will count the ballots, and three will review the process.

The cardinals then receive a blank ballot, and each eligible cardinal, which are all those under the age of 80, writes the name of the person he chooses. The ballots are turned in one at a time, with each cardinal making a pledge to perform their duties with integrity.

This process may be repeated many times, until one favorite emerges and is elected by two-thirds, plus one vote of the college.

Each time a vote is tallied, the ballots are burned. Those burning the ballots will add a chemical to the papers if no pope has been chosen. The chemical makes the smoke turn black so that those watching outside can see as soon as a new pope has been chosen by the color of the smoke. White smoke indicates a new pope has been elected.

If the process repeats over an extended period of time, and no pope is chosen, then the cardinals will have their food and sleeping accommodations reduced in quality, until as which time they agree.

After his resignation, the, Benedict will return to being a Bishop. He may again be known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. We have not had a "Pope Emeritus", but we will soon will. He has said that he would devote the remainder of his life to prayer and will reside in a monastery in the Vatican.

Catholics would do well to remember, that the Church is fully prepared to handle circumstances such as these and that the long tradition of the Church and the guiding hand of God will ensure that the Church remains as a rock to all the faithful, as St. Peter, our first pope, was nearly two millennia ago.

The Spokesman for the Vatican Press Office, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi issued these clarifying remarks:

"Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the Conclave for the election of his successor.

"Pope Benedict XVI will move to the Papal residence in Castel Gandolfo when his resignation shall become effective. When renovation work on the monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican is complete, the Holy Father will move there for a period of prayer and reflection."

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis encourages people to kiss crucifix and recite simple prayer Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is encouraging people this holy week to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord." He wishes to remind others that Christ's passion "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the ... continue reading


Pope Francis distributes Bibles, asks Catholics to perform acts of charity

Image of Bibles were handed out to all visitors regardless of their religious affiliation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has given out tens of thousands of Bibles to people that he hopes they will keep and use daily. The gifts were distributed in St. Peter's Square following Mass. The gifts came with one string attached however, Pope Francis asked all people to perform an ... continue reading


Pope Francis' Wild Ride - Pope takes happy kids for a spin through St. Peter's Square Watch

Image of Pope Francis kisses Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria goodbye after their lucky ride.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis gave to kids the ride of a lifetime by inviting them for a spin in the Popemobile around St. Peter's Square. The gesture continues to cement Pope Francis as a man of the people who is most comfortable with the throngs of faithful who seek his wisdom and ... continue reading


Seminary is not for those who do not wish to 'get on with life,' Pope admonishes Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In addressing the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, the Pope did not mince words. Pope Francis was forthright in saying that the seminary is not a refuge for those who have "psychological problems" or lack the courage "to get on in life." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Pope Francis apologizes for abuse scandal, says Church deserves to pay Watch

Image of Pope Francis embraces a child in St. Peter's Square.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet about the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis made clear that victims of abuse deserved an apology as well as compensation for what they have suffered.  He reaffirmed that the Church will be ... continue reading


Pope Francis makes special plea, but is asking us - Are you listening? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis continues to call for aid to the poor as the holiday season ends. The Holy Father has set a goal to eradicate global hunger by distributing food more equitably around the world and he has called on all faithful Catholics to help. It's a call that can't be ... continue reading


'The Devil is here, even in the 21st century,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of Life is a constant battle against evil due to the presence of the devil, Pope Francis said, admitting that even he

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The devil is very much alive in the 21st Century, Pope Francis warns, and he often takes the form of gossip. The pope confessed that he himself was tempted to gossip, and the faithful need to stay on their toes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking in the ... continue reading


The Protest Against Evil and the Rise of Atheism: Is Evil Really the Problem?

Image of Adam and Eve deny their creatureliness in the Edenic Paradise, desiring to be as gods without God, and thus commit original sin.

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

It sounds very nice, a world devoid of suffering and every type of evil. However, there are some problems with such an idea, at least for now, given the present situation. What would it mean for us if there were no potential for evil? Atheists often reject God in ... continue reading


How I Read Myself Into the Church Watch

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

It's said that people don't read much anymore, that we live in a multimedia age, and that the act of reading is on the wane. These prognostications have already been proven false. Nothing can replace reading a book as the most intimate medium of enjoyment and ... continue reading


Pope Francis calls for greater effort to combat human trafficking, highlights Church responsibility Watch

Image of Human trafficking is a profound world problem, but the Church is uniquely situated to help.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis continues to tackle the problem of human trafficking meeting four victims as well a group of Church sisters and law enforcement leaders in a renewed effort to work together to end human trafficking. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis met ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 16th, 2014 Image

St. Bernadette
April 16: On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter