Pope Benedict XVI to resign February 28th

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an unexpected development, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.

He became Pope in 2005 following John Paul II's death.

Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office.

Read it all.

Update: A papal timeline from Vatican Radio.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

9 Comments
Posted February 11, 2013 at 5:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Terry Tee wrote:

My parish secretary and I had tears in our eyes when we read the statement:  we thought it showed great humility.  This is a side of the Pope that many people overlook or miss in the necessary exercise of his power. 
On the shock side, BBC’s Rome correspondent reported that the announcement came at a meeting ostensibly for something else.  Rome normally leaks like a sieve and so the decision must have been very recent and known to only a few.
One of the effects of it, of course, is to make it possible for other popes after him to resign.  It had not been done apparently for some 600 years.  The recognition of physical frailty, of diminished powers, of the inevitable toll of the years, is both moving and honest, and as I said, a gift to his successors when they too feel that the time has come to lay down the burden of petrine ministry.

February 11, 9:21 am | [comment link]
2. CBH wrote:

Of all the things that make our Post Christian Age a weary one to contemplate, this Vicar of Christ (and the one before) strike a stark contrast and one that I hold as very, very dear.  I am quite certain his prayers will continue to sustain us.  His life and work have greatly influenced what remains as Good in The Church Catholic.  (I believe the comments at this BBC site are reflective of the state of the British soul.) 
Well done good and faithful servant, and now may you find rest.  I think the prayer for the end of the day says even more about later life: O LORD, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen

February 11, 10:07 am | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

I am sorry he is feeling not well enough to carry on.  He has been a good servant of the servants of Christ, and I have respected his leadership, not of right, but because he has earned it by his example and his wisdom.  I have very much enjoyed and learned from reading his work.  He has guided the Catholic church and been a support to others like us whose own leadership in the West has been confused and lacking.

Hopefully in retirement he will be granted the opportunity to continue writing and educating with his scholarly and pastoral guidance.

February 11, 10:41 am | [comment link]
4. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Ditto.  In particular, I heartily agree with Fr. Tee and Pageantmaster.  I’m still shocked and stunned at this startling news.  I’ve left a fuller comment at the thread about ++Justin Welby’s fine public statement about this historic decision, and I won’t repeat it all here.

I give thanks to God for the life and witness of this humble man and faithful pastor.  The bishop and cardinal that liberals derided, feared, and mocked as a conservative Rotweiller turned out to be a German Shepherd.  His like simply doesn’t exist in the Anglican world.  Like millions around the world, I will be praying during Lent for the College of Cardinals as they now seek to discern whom Christ is calling to fill this supremely important office. 

Who knows?  After two home runs, they may make another fantastic choice, and select another equally staunch defender of the apostolic faith who will surprise us in ways that none of us can envision today.  And just maybe it will be not only the third non-Italian in a row, but the first ever pope from the Global South.  Now that would be a bold move that would leave us Anglicans behind in the dust.  But I wouldn’t put it past the Holy Spirit to pull off such an unprecedented stunt.

David Handy+

February 11, 12:11 pm | [comment link]
5. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Wow—it is hard for words to come.  We’ve spent the last couple of hours(in the car) listening to EWTN/Catholic Radio coming out of Dallas. 

In so many ways this +++man has been a gift to the Church.  And now, with integrity, he has set a precedent that defies 600 years of papal history—that may, in the future, save Rome from the deterioration and death of Popes, whilst the underlings scheme, plot, and squabble.  I’ve always believed Pope Benedict XVI one of the few smart and courageous enough to play the “long game”; time will tell.  God bless him in his prayers and ministry, and may whatever years he has left be fulfilling and restful. 

Intercessions also for the near-future Conclave.  The papal successor has a tough act to follow and takes the reins of a troubled ecclesial horse, probably in any time and place.  God bless.

February 11, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
6. cseitz wrote:

I loved this comment:
“The Pope is really setting a high bar for giving something up for Lent.”
God bless him.

February 11, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
7. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Good point, Professor Seitz - they are going to have to get a move on to convene the conclave and puts some pressure on the cardinals to not tarry in electing the next Pope if he is going to be in place in good time for Easter!  No time for sloth.

February 11, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
8. Ad Orientem wrote:

I am deeply saddened by this news. Both from the perspective of a former Catholic and currently Orthodox Christian I think H.H. Benedict XVI was the best thing to hit Rome in a very long time. I fear for the future of the Roman Church where the election of a new Pope can have far greater consequences than a change in primates in one of the Orthodox churches. Even so I wish him well in whatever retirement awaits him.

Many years!

February 11, 8:37 pm | [comment link]
9. The Lakeland Two wrote:

#6 - Dr. Seitz - well done!!!!

February 11, 8:54 pm | [comment link]
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