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The Reason Benedict Resigned
CE.com ^ | February 15, 2013 | William Fahey

Posted on 02/17/2013 7:06:13 PM PST by Salvation

The Reason Benedict Resigned

William Fahey

by William Fahey on February 15, 2013 · 

The Catholic world is largely shocked by the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s letter of resignation this morning.  The secular world assumes the worst—no, it desires the worst, and by insinuation worms doubts into the minds of even the faithful.

The secular world will tear through the brief letter and fixate upon the line about a “world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.”  It will weave from these deconstructed words an existential tale of despair, scandal, and an authority which realizes it is no longer in touch with reality.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Benedict’s resignation is utterly consistent with his character.  It is traditional—he brings from our history and our law a fact and feature of the Papal Office: one can and—under certain circumstance—should put aside that office.

His resignation demonstrates once again the firm mark of a father and a teacher.   A father knows that his role is to provide example, instruction, and discipline, and ultimately put himself aside for the good of his own. The Petrine ministry is not exercised for a man, or for bishops and priests, or even for Catholics alone.  It is a ministry exercised for all those seeking God and for all those towards whom God’s mercy is extended.  It is a demanding office.

As with every text published by Benedict, this letter of resignation has no imbalance, flab, impression, or vagueness.  Not a word goes astray.  It is shot through with paternal love and professorial clarity.

An honest reading of this document can only lead to profound gratitude and sympathy for a suffering father who must understand each act and decision he makes as having “great importance for the life the Church.”

No one could doubt that this Holy Father has meditated profoundly, and I expect repeatedly, on The Pastoral Rule of St. Gregory the Great—that sixth-century handbook for those who hold the highest spiritual authority, what Benedict and others have called the ars artium (“the art of arts”).  Much of the book is a warning against the wrong reasons for grasping or holding on to power, followed by an outline of the virtues needed to exercise leadership well.  In the first book of The Pastoral Rule we find this line, which I believe has quietly echoed for some weeks in the Holy Father’s thoughts:  “He must be a man whose aims are not thwarted by the frailty of his body.”  The office of Peter is not a spiritual thing which discounts human nature.  That sacred ministry resides with a person, but that person must have the nature to exercise its rigors.

Benedict XVI has marked his pontificate by humility.  If anything, he has tried to depersonalize the use of authority, even that uniquely personal authority, the Petrine Office.  Yet we must always remember that the “person” of the Papal ministry is St. Peter, who with his successors acts in the person of Christ.  The papacy is a lived authority and a living authority and one that must respond to the needs of the Age.  It is natural that we love the concrete that we know, and love the particular character of our popes.  And we must do our best to accept that like a humble and adored teacher, Benedict now forces on his students a hard lesson: that the teacher should never be the focus of our final attention and love.

Our age has become overly focused on a model of “leadership” which is nothing short of superficial, for whom the shallow gilt of charisma and “personality” have blinded everyone to questions of duty and responsibility.  Benedict’s resignation teaches us once again that leadership—while exercised by a person—is not about that person. Benedict has set before our eyes the old Roman sense of officium—duty, office, responsibility.  Benedict’s embrace of the Petrine office has always been a reluctant one, and that reluctance is born of clear self-knowledge and deep understanding of the history and purpose of papal authority.

The following words are taken from one of the Holy Father’s General Audience in 2008.  He spoke on St. Gregory the Great and his reluctance to sit on the throne of St. Peter, reluctance that gave way to grace, prayer, and action:

Recognizing the will of God in what had happened, the new Pontiff immediately and enthusiastically set to work. From the beginning he showed a singular enlightened vision of the reality with which he had to deal, an extra-ordinary capacity for work confronting both ecclesial and civil affairs, a constant and even balance in making decisions, at times with courage, imposed on him by his office.

These are not words set down in a theoretical fashion. They rise from the Holy Father’s lips with experience behind them.

More moving are Benedict’s closing words from the following day’s audience.  Again, speaking on St. Gregory and his lonely pontificate, he ends:

Gregory remained a simple monk in his heart and therefore was decidedly opposed to great titles.  He wanted to be—and this is his expression—servus servorum Dei. Coined by him, this phrase was not just a pious formula on his lips but a true manifestation of his way of living and acting. He was intimately struck by the humility of God, who in Christ made himself our servant. He washed and washes our dirty feet. Therefore, he was convinced that a Bishop, above all, should imitate this humility of God and follow Christ in this way.  His desire was to live truly as a monk, in permanent contact with the Word of God, but for love of God he knew how to make himself the servant of all in a time full of tribulation and suffering. He knew how to make himself the “servant of the servants.”  Precisely because he was this, he is great and also shows us the measure of true greatness.

The Holy Father’s reasons for resignation spring from a grave sense of office and a faithful belief in what that office truly is. He has remained through his pontificate faithful and true to his vocation of father and teacher. Both father and teacher must daily put aside themselves to be true to their calling.

The papacy is not a mere person, it is not a great man, it is certainly not a bloodline or earthly principality. It is the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter. It is a sacred office entrusted to the entire Church. It is an enduring stewardship through time.  Behind the Vicar stand the Kingship of Christ and the enduring nature of His Church, yesterday, today, and forever.

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned. His Holiness has resigned because he understands his office and he wishes with firm resolve to help us to understand this and deepen our faith by remembering him for what he is and by lifting up our hearts and minds to the eternal Father and His Son, Our Supreme Pastor and Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

This article was originally published  at Crisis.



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; popebenedictxvi; poperesigns
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**The Holy Father’s reasons for resignation spring from a grave sense of office and a faithful belief in what that office truly is. He has remained through his pontificate faithful and true to his vocation of father and teacher. Both father and teacher must daily put aside themselves to be true to their calling.**
1 posted on 02/17/2013 7:06:20 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!


2 posted on 02/17/2013 7:08:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

He knew when to say when.


3 posted on 02/17/2013 7:17:47 PM PST by AU72
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To: Salvation
I am quitting being a Catholic. You know when things get tough my priest has always said that I could endure with the teaching of mother church.

My faith would carry me.

Benedict is a quitter and I will never go back to church again.

We say a prayer every time at mass for the Pope and those who would take up the priesthood. I did not think we would want quitters and those who do not accept the task God presents them.

Never not once did I think the Pope would resign.

This is not a joke. I am no longer a Catholic.

4 posted on 02/17/2013 7:22:23 PM PST by highpockets
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To: Salvation
Working in a place where people who can be expected to stick to their guns and strive for the best under intense pressure for decades on end, it's easy to understand why the Pope would retire in his mid 80s.

According to other posts earlier he will still have been the second-oldest Pope over the last 1000 years (for which we have records).

5 posted on 02/17/2013 7:27:17 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: highpockets

You are always a Catholic and will have to answer for your statements at the moment of your death when you meet Christ.

While you are alive Christ is total mercy; at the moment of your death Christ is total justice.

Please go in and talk to a theologian about this....not just your parish priest.

On one of the threads, someone quoted a news story about how Benedict’s tailors had to downsize his vestments since he had lost so much weight.

I suspect he may die sooon. Then what will you say?


6 posted on 02/17/2013 7:28:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: highpockets

I’m curious - why quit Catholicism altogether, highp? I’m still confused by his leaving. But it seems Benedict isn’t quitting the Church, just the office.


7 posted on 02/17/2013 7:29:17 PM PST by ReaganGeneration2
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To: ReaganGeneration2; highpockets

You are correct. Not quitting the church — like a CEO who can no longer fulfill the demands of his office he has resigned.

He is not the first Pope to resign, either.

There’s a thread in the links below on St. Celestine. Scott Hahn’s reflections shed some more light on St. Celestine.


8 posted on 02/17/2013 7:35:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ReaganGeneration2; highpockets
The Reason Benedict Resigned [Catholic Caucus]
At B16's Window, A Big "Thank You"... While Behind the Walls, The "Showcase" Begins
Prayers for Our Holy Father Benedict XVI and the Papal Conclave

Pope still extremely Catholic (A look at how media cover Catholicism [and the Pope])
Conclave to silence at least nine tweeting cardinals
Pope Benedict's resignation and the mystery of the missing encyclical
Benedict, Dawkins, and the Fullness of Reason
Benedict XVI: Vatican II as I saw it
Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church
The Left Lobbies for a Liberal Successor to Benedict (and here is why)

Pope Benedict's Future Residence
SCOTT HAHN: Pope Benedict had a profound effect on this former Presbyterian minister
Is the Next Pope the One From John Bosco’s Dream? (Patrick Madrid offers an intriguing twist)
"Re-Elect Pope Benedict" - “Eight more years!”
Who can be elected pope?
The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI: A commentary by Fr. Barron
More details on papal resignation, conclave (Vatican Press Office)
Church doesn't bend, but endures
Who Will Take Up the Keys of Peter (This is a MUST READ!)
Conclave & The Media: The Silly Season

Cardinal Bertone's Farewell Address to the Holy Father
"Thank You – Let Us Return to Prayer": For the Last Time, The Pope Leaves the Altar
"Today, We Begin A New Journey" – Liturgically Speaking, B16's Last Word
Vatican releases schedule for Pope's final days
Benedict XVI: Reason’s Revolutionary
Some Interesting Tidbits From Today’s Vatican press conference
Pope Decided to Resign After Cuba Trip, Vatican Advisor Says
Pope Says He's Resigning for the 'Good of Church'
Watch for the Anti-Catholics To Weigh in on the Papal Succession
The challenge Pope Benedict has left for his successor—and for ordinary Catholics

Historian Notes Precedents for Papal Resignation
US Will Have Unprecedented Voice In Electing New Pope
Pope Benedict’s Resignation and St. Corbinian’s Bear
Pope Benedict XVI’s Musical Legacy
Benedict announces resignation and lightning strikes
DHS's curiosity piqued over Pope Benedict XVI's retirement and Catholic Prophecy
Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict's Devotion to Saint Celestine Signaled His Resignation from the Papacy
Cardinal Sodano to Pope Benedict: “We have heard you with a sense of loss and almost disbelief”
Pope's resignation invokes sadness, gratitude from US bishops

Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Report: Brother Says Pope Was Considering Resignation for Months
Some Notes About the Upcoming Conclave
An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict’s Resignation in Historical Context
Virtually unprecedented: papal resignation throughout history
Pope Benedict XVI:a papal timeline
"I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome" [Full Text]
Pope Benedict's Address on Resignation of the See of Rome
POPE BENEDICT XVI WILL RESIGN AT THE END OF THIS MONTH, VATICAN PRESS OFFICE TELLS FOX NEWS

9 posted on 02/17/2013 7:37:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: highpockets
“I am quitting being a Catholic... Benedict is a quitter and I will never go back to church again.”

How you choose to live your life is your decision. Faith must come from within.

Pope Benedict made a wise and humble decision. There is no reason for him to continue the responsibilities of his office if age and ill health limit his abilities. I am moved by his honesty in admitting his human frailty. He is truly a holy man.

Benedict will continue to practice his faith. He is not quitting that.

You are the one quitting your faith. You are the quitter. I wish you wouldn't call Benedict a quitter.

10 posted on 02/17/2013 7:45:01 PM PST by detective
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To: highpockets
Did you read the article? The Pope didn't quit because things were too tough for him to take, and he was somehow scared, personally. He recognized that the Church needed someone who is stronger than he to take Her through the tough times ahead.

Pope Benedict understands that he is not the Church, and that stepping aside to allow the Holy Spirit to bring forth another to take his place would be the best thing for the Church. Staying in office beyond the time his body and mind could be strong enough to withstand the attacks would not be the best for Jesus's Church, and Benedict knows that JESUS is the priority, not himself, as the person sitting in the Seat of Peter.

It was a selfLESS decision, not a selfish one.

11 posted on 02/17/2013 7:45:34 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: highpockets
If this is what chased you away from your Catholic faith, then I really question how serious you were in the first place.

The Catholic Church is not a cult of personality tied to the man who serves as Christ's representative on earth. Go back through history and see how many times the Catholic Church was truly in distress: times when popes were imprisoned, when two or three different men claimed to be the "real" pope, etc.

On top of all that, keep in mind that this is the first time in the history of the human race when people routinely live to the age of 90 or 100 years old. If Pope Benedict XVI was well aware that he had a medical condition that presented a serious threat to his ability to serve (think of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, for example), would you really want him to continue serving just so that you wouldn't look upon him as a "quitter?"

I think it's time for you to grow up and take a good, hard look at yourself.

12 posted on 02/17/2013 7:57:37 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: SuziQ

Well said.


13 posted on 02/17/2013 7:58:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: muawiyah

Some friends and I were talking about the age of 75 when Bishops are asked to retire so that new blood can lead the diocese.

Benedict has served 10 years beyond that criterium.

I don’t think too many people are aware that when he was a Cardinal he received a pacemaker.


14 posted on 02/17/2013 8:00:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Pray for the lost and uncharitable.
They know not what they say.


15 posted on 02/17/2013 8:01:45 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: Religion Moderator; Admin Moderator

Please take off the Catholic Caucus on this thread. Too many people have sent me private messages and want to post on the thread.

Thanks in advance.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2989544/posts


16 posted on 02/17/2013 8:08:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: AU72

My husband sufferred with lung cancer for a few months and he knew that when it metasticized into brain cancer — that he had to quit.

I never thought of him as a quitter — just one that was willing to accept what was in his path.

God bless.


17 posted on 02/17/2013 8:12:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: highpockets

The Pope is Peter, “This Rock,” and is the focal point for the continuation of Christ’s Church. But the individual Pope is not the Church; otherwise, there would have been no Pope after St Peter.

We have had many bad popes, many indifferent popes, and a few saintly popes. We have had 265 Popes since St Peter, but the Church is still with us. Most of the popes died in office; some of the early popes died in the salt mines during the persecutions, some died at the hands of national powers, some died in disgraceful circumstances, and some died at the hands of corrupt clergy in their own households. But the Church is still with us.

Our Lord only promised that the Church, His Church, would endure, not that an individual Pope would be with us forever. BXVI is leaving for a good reason: I don’t know if you saw his last mass, but he had to be helped from point to point by people on either side of him and I doubt that he is going to live much longer.

I don’t know what medical problem he has, but it has become very acute in the last few months and he has changed enormously. He is frail and out of breath and is barely audible when he speaks. His mind seems to be just fine, judging by the addresses he has given in the last few days, but his body simply is not holding up.

Rather than let the Church grind to a halt while he dies, during a time when the Church has rarely been under more pressure, both from the left and from Islam, he has decided that the times are so urgent that someone physically capable of dealing with it must be called out of the ranks to lead the battle.

I think that is an honorable and good thing and God will reward his faithful servant as He should.


19 posted on 02/17/2013 8:35:54 PM PST by livius
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To: highpockets

It seems that the man is blind in one eye and has little hearing in one ear. You would carry on?


20 posted on 02/17/2013 8:39:49 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: highpockets

You just looking for an out?...


21 posted on 02/17/2013 8:39:49 PM PST by oust the louse (You need your parents signature to go on a school field trip but not to get an abortion.)
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To: livius

Great response.


22 posted on 02/17/2013 8:40:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Alberta's Child; Salvation; highpockets; marshmallow
I am shocked and saddened by the Pope stepping down. Non-Catholics have complained in the past that the Pope was "too old" and should call it quits. For years I told non-Catholics that a Catholic Pope would NEVER "retire", and this week I have egg on my face. I'm at a loss to explain it. The Catholic Church has always valued church tradition and precedent and abides by it.

While it's true that Pope have resigned in the past, and there's no question whether it's possible for a Pope to step down (probably at least 5 or 6 have done) -- there is NO record of ANY Pope -- in the 2000 year history of the church, stepping down because of advanced age or fatigue. It's simply NOT done. (For similar reasons, the Queen of England, who is older than Benedict XVI, will never "retire" and will remain in office until she dies)

The last Pope to resign did so 600 years ago, and that was because there was a major crisis in the church and he needed to do so in order to end a schism and have a new Pope elected that all the warring factions would accept.

The Papacy is considered a lifetime job for the obvious reason that it would create a serious problem in the church if the "former" Pope and the "current" Pope were alive simultaneously and made conflicting statements about a current issue. I believe that's partially the reason the last Pope who stepped down because a voluntary prisoner of the Vatican and never made public appearances after stepping down. The Pope physically deteriorating or becoming very old and slow to respond has never been grounds for a Pope to "leave office". John Paul II suffered from advanced stages of Parkinson's and was in much worse physical shape than Benedict XVI towards the end of his reign, and never "retired" despite repeated calls from the secular media to do so. One pope in the 1700s continued to reign even though he was physically bedridden and blind for the last 10 years of his papacy.

If the Pope had suffered an extreme medical condition that left him completed unable to function (say a major stroke), THAT might be grounds to break with tradition and have him resign because the office would be defacto vacant as long as he remained alive, but that hasn't happened in this case. Benedict XVI's mind is fully functional, he is not an invalid, and has not been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, etc., and there is claim from the Vatican or speculation that he's "dying" (and if he was "dying", he wouldn't resign but would rather inform the Cardinals of the situations so they could stand by to arrange a conclave once he did pass away). The only statement from the Vatican is he feels too old and fatigued to carry on.

I think this sets a very bad precedent for future Popes, if they can just "retire" because they're past 65 and feel tired, future Popes could treat the "job" the same they would a secular institution.

23 posted on 02/17/2013 8:47:04 PM PST by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: BillyBoy

There’s a disease that eats away at one’s body. A person at our church had it. He was fine and could walk. Next time I saw him he was on crutches.

Then he was using a walker and eventually ended up in a wheelchair before his body was totally riddled by this disease.

Could something like this be happening. If I remember correctly, this disease eats away at either the muscles or the nerves.

As I said above, the tailors were having a difficult time downsizing his vestments and keeping up with his loss of weight.

Puzzling.

Anyone know what it is called?


24 posted on 02/17/2013 8:55:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: highpockets

As far as I can tell he was the 5th oldest Pope at his election in 2005, the fourth oldest one was elected in 1730. If he passed today he would be the fourth oldest Pope ever. Out of 265.

Freegards


26 posted on 02/17/2013 9:00:54 PM PST by Ransomed
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To: Salvation
I stand by my statement: The Pope physically deteriorating has NEVER been grounds for a Pope to "leave office".

Why the Pope certainly CAN leave step down, stepping down under these circumstances is a huge break with the 2000 tradition of the Catholic Church and the understanding that the papacy is a lifetime job in all but the most extreme of circumstances. Many Popes is far worst physical shape than Benedict XVI continued to reign.

27 posted on 02/17/2013 9:03:43 PM PST by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: highpockets

The Pope has that much influence on your faith?

That’s like saying you won’t use a product you’ve used for 50 years, because the current CEO left before his contract was up.

The product is the same.

Your local Bishop has more say about what goes on in your church than the guy in Rome.


28 posted on 02/17/2013 9:03:48 PM PST by Vermont Lt (Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?)
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To: Salvation
I stand by my statement: The Pope physically deteriorating has NEVER been grounds for a Pope to "leave office".

While the Pope certainly CAN leave step down, stepping down under these circumstances is a huge break with the 2000 year old tradition of the Catholic Church and the understanding that the papacy is a lifetime job in all but the most extreme of circumstances. Many Popes is far worse physical shape than Benedict XVI continued to reign.

29 posted on 02/17/2013 9:05:27 PM PST by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: BillyBoy

I’m not arguing with you. I just think there is a lot we don’t know.


30 posted on 02/17/2013 9:07:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SuziQ; Salvation; highpockets
It was a selfLESS decision, not a selfish one.

I totally agree, SuziQ...

31 posted on 02/17/2013 9:07:44 PM PST by nutmeg (Who and WHERE are the Benghazi survivors??)
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To: Salvation

I agree. I think there is more to this story behind the scenes. I am troubled by Catholics who are so casual to applaud the Pope’s resignation and dismiss it as “oh well, he was getting older, let him enjoy his retirement”. Tradition should not be taken lightly in the Catholic Church and dismissed on a whim.


32 posted on 02/17/2013 9:11:45 PM PST by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: highpockets

((((Hugs))))Easy to say but look to The eternal Christ.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/17/us-pope-resignation-appearance-idUSBRE91G04J20130217”Peter Seewald, a German journalist who wrote a book with the pope in 2010 in which Benedict first floated the possibility of resigning, visited him again about 10 weeks ago.

“His hearing had deteriorated. He couldn’t see with his left eye. His body had become so thin that the tailors had difficulty in keeping up with newly fitted clothes ... I’d never seen him so exhausted-looking, so worn down,” Seewald said.”


33 posted on 02/17/2013 9:21:01 PM PST by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: AU72

((((Hugs))))


34 posted on 02/17/2013 9:27:16 PM PST by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: BillyBoy

Your right BillyBoy,
but he said he was under spiritual attack too and asking for our prayers.
“The pope has said his physical and spiritual forces are no longer strong enough to sustain him in the job of leading the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics at a time of crisis for the Church in a fast-changing world.”
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/17/us-pope-resignation-appearance-idUSBRE91G04J20130217


35 posted on 02/17/2013 9:38:07 PM PST by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: BillyBoy
The Pope physically deteriorating has NEVER been grounds for a Pope to "leave office".

There is no written rule about the length of a Pope's term in the office. That most of the Popes in history have stayed in the office until their deaths doesn't mean that is the requirement for everyone who serves. The Pope is not the Church, he is simply the servant who happens to be the head of the world's Catholics. Pope Benedict realized that his health was failing and that being the leader would require much more strength than he had, and staying in the office would be detrimental to the work of the Church.

36 posted on 02/17/2013 9:44:16 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ; Salvation
>> There is no written rule about the length of a Pope's term in the office. <<

You are correct. There is also no written rule that the Pope must come from the college of Cardinals (it's simply been an unbroken tradition since the 1300s) or even that the Pope must be ordained clergy (it's simply been an unbroken tradition for 2000 years). In theory, they could name me, a lay Catholic, as the next Pontiff. But even though it's totally permissible under the code of canon law to do so, that would create outrage, since it would be a total disregard for Catholic tradition.

In short, just because the Church or a Pope CAN do something, doesn't mean they should. I don't like to see an old man struggling to carry on his duties as Pope anymore than you do. It's unfortunate than many Popes physically deteriorate. But Christ bore the cross for hours, and JP II bore the papacy under much greater physical detriment than Benedict. It is a testament to Popes who carried on this tradition.

I accept Benedict XVI's right to step down, but I disagree with it and I am deeply saddened to see him to do so. The seat of Peter is not like a secular job where one just "retires"

37 posted on 02/17/2013 10:02:57 PM PST by BillyBoy ( Impeach Obama? Yes We Can!)
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To: highpockets
Never not once did I think the Pope would resign.

Consider for a moment that perhaps Pope Benedict is wiser than you or I and that his judgement is better than yours or mine.

I don't think that requires too great a stretch.

38 posted on 02/17/2013 10:06:39 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: BillyBoy

Do you think he’s being selfish, that he doesn’t care as much for the Church as you do, that he doesn’t appreciate the importance of his actions as much as you do, that he doesn’t understand tradition and the office of Peter as well as you, or that he’s just not smart enough to see it as you do?

I know, these are rhetorical questions. Aren’t they?


39 posted on 02/17/2013 10:10:39 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: BillyBoy

The Papacy is only an office, it is not a Sacrament. When one accepts the office, one acquires all of the authority that comes with it, including the ability to teach infallibly on matters of Faith and Morals. If one relinquishes the office, the authority goes to the next bishop who accepts the office. The Holy Spirit will never be confused about who rightly holds the office.

This is highly unusual to be sure, but not unprecedented. Things regarding the “end of days” seem to be happening with more frequency. If the next bishop to take the Chair of Peter has “Peter” as a first or last name, or as his papal name, we will all be wondering if St. Malachy’s prophecy is complete.


40 posted on 02/17/2013 10:14:02 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: highpockets

I am of the Lutheran heritage. There have been doctrinal and behavioral differences with the Catholic church/faith during my lifetime. In all my years I still maintained a very friendly relationship with many Catholic friends. Of particular heart for me was my friends faith in their Catholic beliefs and the leadership of the Pope. I do not understand your attitude towards your church because the Pope recognizes the need for a more physically stronger person to carry on the enormous tasks for leading the Catholic Church.


41 posted on 02/17/2013 10:37:39 PM PST by noinfringers2
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To: highpockets
Benedict is a quitter

I think I understand that feeling. Even though I could understand and respect the decision from an intellectual standpoint, underneath it all my gut-level emotions for the first few days were still telling me that this was quitting.

Then I watched Benedict on Ash Wednesday. As I wiped my tears I had to admit a few things to myself. First, I've noticed for the past year or so that he seems to be having neurological difficulties. And on Ash Wednesday he looked much worse. So I had to admit that I've been in denial. Not wanting to acknowledge what I've observed for a long time: He's deteriorating. Quickly. I have such an affection for Benedict (won't bore you with the reasons). I just didn't want to admit to myself that we won't have him for decades as we did John Paul.

Second, I had to admit that I was still honestly disappointed. But in whom? It was easy to project my feelings onto Benedict. To see him as not fulfilling his role. But who was I to say that? Does he take direction from me? Or from the Holy Spirit? If it's the latter, then it really isn't Benedict I'm disappointed in. It's the Holy Spirit. It's God. Do you see how arrogant and judgmental I can be? To think I know what God should do in His Church? To think I know better than Benedict whether it's best to delegate his responsibilities or relinquish them altogether?

Third, I realized that if I have trusted that Benedict has followed the lead of the Holy Spirit all these years in exercising his role as Supreme Pontiff, then I have to trust that he's done so before, during, and after the announcement of his decision to step down. That's been very comforting to me.

I don't know if my experience is similar to yours in any way. I just thought I'd share with you the way I came to terms with the announcement. And tell you that you aren't alone in your reaction of disappointment. I hope you stay in the Church. I will pray for you :) Please pray for me too! May the Holy Spirit give you His comfort and His peace.

42 posted on 02/17/2013 10:55:31 PM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: highpockets
"This is not a joke. I am no longer a Catholic."

Good, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

The sooner all those who don't really believe the Holy Spirit guides the One Holy,Catholic, and Apostolic Church Jesus Christ Himself founded, are all gone, the better. The Jews refuse to believe Christ because He didn't measure up to their expectations and people who think the Pope and/or the Church don't measure up to their expectations have a good example to follow, the Pharisees.

I'm sure those who don't mind the pews being full cafeteria food addicts feel differently.
Especially the folks who seem to think keeping foxes snug and warm in the hen house is an act of Charity.
43 posted on 02/17/2013 11:58:57 PM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: BillyBoy

In theory, they could name me, a lay Catholic, as the next Pontiff.
= = = = = = = = = = ==
Since I don’t ‘know’ you I am not trying to ‘insult’ you

BUT

if the above were to happen, DON’T hold your breath waiting for the ‘puff of white smoke’. <: <:


44 posted on 02/18/2013 12:29:45 AM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: highpockets

Why are you quiting?

Pope B16 is not quiting, he is simply coming to terms with the reality that he has to give thanks to God just to be able to put his two feet unto the floor each motning. When one is in one’s 80’s just being ALIVE each new day is a blessing. He could be dealing with health issues and seeing Blessed JP2 suffer from ill health while still Pope may very well has haunted him and wants peace and quit in what remains with his life.


45 posted on 02/18/2013 3:06:31 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

I have a mother a few short years up from Pope B16 and just last has gotten a pacemaker herself.


46 posted on 02/18/2013 3:21:46 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

I should have taken a hint late last year when having his most recent book coming out about the life and times of Jesus he said this would be his laste book. Those books about Jesus and the apostles are very intense books and must have taken a lot out of him to be able to wrtie them all.


47 posted on 02/18/2013 3:29:16 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: highpockets

Good grief. You’re the quitter — not the Pope. How shallow your faith must be.


48 posted on 02/18/2013 3:50:00 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: Salvation

This may have been posted on FR but I found this about Pope B16’s ailments:

http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-pope-blesses-thousands-20130217,0,589861.story


49 posted on 02/18/2013 3:50:44 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

Great article. I love the humilty that radiated in his farewell letter. It was a refreshing sound of heaven, in barren desert.

May God Bless Pope Benedict, protect His church, and fill the hearts of His faithful.


50 posted on 02/18/2013 4:15:36 AM PST by mgist
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