Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Retires on the last day of February 2013

Last February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement as supreme pontiff on the last day of month, February 28th, due to his advanced age and deteriorating health with a heart pacemaker. During March a conclave would be convened shortly thereafter to elect a new pope. Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, on April 16,1927--Holy Saturday--and baptized that same day--the first person baptized in the new Easter water. It was a sign of blessing, he wrote in his memoir, that his life from the beginning was thus immersed in the Easter mystery. He entered the minor seminary in 1939 at the age of twelve, but his studies were interrupted by World War II, when the seminary was closed and Joseph, along with most of his class, was drafted into the army at the age of sixteen. After the war he resumed his education in philosophy and theology, and together with his brother, Georg, was ordained a priest in 1951. During the course of a twenty-year career as a professor of dogma and theology at several German universities, he earned the reputation of a gifted lecturer and learned scholar, and was present as a peritus, or theological advisor, at all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He was ordained an archbishop in May of 1977 and elevated to the College of Cardinals a month later. He settled in Rome in 1981 and went on to become one of the most influential men in Roman curia. Of the many offices he held, he is best known as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an authoritative advisor on doctrinal issues during his predecessor's pontificate. When he was elected the 265th successor of Peter in 2005 at the age of seventy-eight, he became the first German pope since Victor II in the eleventh century. A central theme of his papacy has been the staunch defense of core Christian values against what he sees as moral decline across much of Europe. At the same time, he has sought to improve his relations with other religions, trying to determine if a "cultural synthesis" is possible without losing the identity of the faith while engaged in discourse with the Lutheran World Federation, Judaism, Islam, the Anglican Communion, and Christian Orthodox Churches. He has also spoken out against abuses of human rights and ongoing political conflicts and warfare, and has advocated better protection of the environment. He has called for a radical rethinking of the global economy, criticizing the growing divide between rich and poor, and has pressed for a "true world political authority" to oversee the economy and work for the common good. Ever true to his episcopal motto, "Fellow Worker in the Truth," Pope Benedict XVI's teaching and prolific writings have always defended traditional Catholic doctrine and values.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Papacy Of Pope Benedict XVI Highlighted His Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life, Says Cardinal Dolan

Papacy Of Pope Benedict XVI Highlighted His Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life, Says Cardinal Dolan

Statements from on Pope Benedict XVI's Abdication

Statements from on Pope Benedict XVI's Abdication, a national grassroots Catholic advocacy organization, issued the following statements in reaction to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's planned abdication:

Brian Burch, President of

"Catholic Americans join their brothers and sisters in the Faith around the world in humble acceptance of the decision today by Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Chair of Peter later this month. This historic decision comes fittingly as the Church prepares to enter the season of Lent, where marked with ashes, we are reminded of our human limits and utter dependence on the grace and providence of the Lord of history. We are mindful that the universality of the Church is particularly visible during these historic events where the prayer, tradition, and grandeur of Catholicism are on display for the world. We give thanks for the rich pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and await with joyful hope and prayer the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Church in the weeks ahead."

Thomas Peters, Author, American Papist Blog, and Editor of Blog:

"Pope Benedict has been speaking openly about the precedent of a pope stepping down due to age or health for years — so this is not totally unexpected. In retrospect, he probably has been trying to prepare us for just such a moment as this one. Even though we have the modern memory of Bl. John Paul II serving heroically until his last breath does not mean every modern pope will do so. That said, this has not happened in 600 years. Nevertheless, be not afraid! The Holy Spirit is ultimately in charge of guiding, protecting and providing for the Church of Christ. Let nothing you dismay. We must all be praying to the Holy Spirit today and throughout Lent for the future of the Church and for the next pope."