So, it’s been a bit of a historic day in the Catholic world with Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation effective at the end of this month. I’d been planning to start a new weekly feature to this blog called “Weekly Clippings” that aggregates news from Catholic world. There is no better to day to kick it off than today. So, here we go!
Quick editor’s note: I am specifically leaving out commentary and coverage of this story from the main stream media for a couple of reasons. First, those stories are easy enough to find, and second, I feel like the main stream media has very little real insight to add to this story.
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. — Pope Benedict XVI
The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.
Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went largely unnoticed.
He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval Pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb!
Worried? Yes, worried. We don’t know what comes next. This morning, amid my grief, I have endured pious scolding from those who remind me that the Holy Spirit is in charge. To worry, they say, just shows your lack of faith. Yes, the Holy Spirit protects the Church from error. However, the Holy Spirit does not protect the Church from disaster. If the last 50 years has taught us anything, it has taught us that. So yes, I worry.
His resignation is not effective until the end of February, but the two questions on everyone’s mind are: 1) What happens now? 2) Who will be the next pope?
I’m not going to speculate on the latter, but I would like to give you a brief overview of what will be happening in the next few weeks following his resignation (or at least what we expect to happen)…
Any assessment is naturally little more than a snapshot in time. There was great speculation about papabili in 1995, for example, when Blessed John Paul II’s health began to decline publicly, but the next conclave was not held for another decade. By then, many of the favorites from 10 years before were older than 80 or even deceased.
His papal motto, to no surprise, would be “I Like Turtles”.
I hereby announce my candidacy.Thank you in advance for your votes.#iliketurtles2013
— Robert Keighron (@robertkeighron) February 11, 2013