- Wednesday, 13 February 2013 08:57
When the Pope came into the Paul VI Hall he was greeted with lots of people which is typical, but there seemed to be more than c. 8000 people in attendance. The outpouring of affection was evident. Before the weekly teaching, he said,
Dear brothers and sisters, as you know I decided. Thank you for your kindness. I decided to resign from the ministry that the Lord had entrusted me on April 19, 2005. I did this in full freedom for the good of the Church after having prayed at length and examined my conscience before God, well aware of the gravity of this act.
I was also well aware that I was no longer able to fulfill the Petrine Ministry with that strength that it demands. What sustains and illuminates me is the certainty that the Church belongs to Christ whose care and guidance will never be lacking. I thank you all for the love and prayer with which you have accompanied me.
I have felt, almost physically, your prayers in these days which are not easy for me, the strength which the love of the Church and your prayers brings to me. Continue to pray for me and for the future Pope, the Lord will guide us!
The catechesis the Pope offers us today…
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- Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:00
Ross Douthat “conservative columnist” of The NY Times writes about Pope Benedict’s resignation yesterday. He pinpoints how in recent years, in many ways very recent years, how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome has changed. And not for the better.
In The Pope Abdicates
, he puts his finger on things Benedict tried to minimize: the cult of papal personality, a globe-trotting bishop, a world-powerful CEO, an international voice of reason, etc. The real power of the Pontiff is work of unity among all peoples and teaching and living the truth: Jesus Christ is true for all people because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
There are beautiful and positive lessons to be learned with Benedict’s resignation. God knows what he did when he gave Ratzinger the responsibility of being the Bishop of Rome. The challenges of a global Church worshiping the One, Triune God, preaching salvation, dispensing forgiveness of sins, being an example of love for the other, living according to the Magisterium, and the like, led by an 85 year old are very burdensome today. The humility of Benedict, who in good conscience likely did as much in 7 years as John Paul did in 26 is amazing. But you have to read this work to know this. His homilies and his talks are crucial to know his current thinking and direction. Take for example, Benedict’s 2005 address to the Roman Curia.
A lesson to study is how focussed are we on God? Is God our true center? Do we believe that Jesus is the center of our Church, or is the real head a man in nice clothes? Sentimental we can’t afford to be: there is something important at stake here: salvation.
Even without the office, Benedict remains a true Father of the Faith.
- Tuesday, 12 February 2013 05:30
In his book-length interview with Peter Seewald, Light of the World, Pope Benedict responded to Seewald’s question as to whether a pope should resign saying, “Yes. If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”
And, now Benedict has done it.
- Monday, 11 February 2013 21:52
Today is the 21st observance of the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. This one paragraph of Pope Benedict’s is instructive. The picks some holy people to help us see the face of Christ more clearly in the everyday. Can we be a good samaritan in the communities in which we find ourselves?
May Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
For the rest of the document, see the link here.
The Year of Faith which we are celebrating is a fitting occasion for intensifying the service of charity in our ecclesial communities, so that each one of us can be a good Samaritan for others, for those close to us. Here I would like to recall the innumerable figures in the history of the Church who helped the sick to appreciate the human and spiritual value of their suffering, so that they might serve as an example and an encouragement. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, “an expert in the scientia amoris” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 42), was able to experience “in deep union with the Passion of Jesus” the illness that brought her “to death through great suffering” (Address at General Audience, 6 April 2011). The Venerable Luigi Novarese, who still lives in the memory of many, throughout his ministry realized the special importance of praying for and with the sick and suffering, and he would often accompany them to Marian shrines, especially to the Grotto of Lourdes. Raoul Follereau, moved by love of neighbour, dedicated his life to caring for people afflicted by Hansen’s disease, even at the world’s farthest reaches, promoting, among other initiatives, World Leprosy Day. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta would always begin her day with an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and then she would go out into the streets, rosary in hand, to find and serve the Lord in the sick, especially in those “unwanted, unloved, uncared for”. Saint Anna Schäffer of Mindelstetten, too, was able to unite in an exemplary way her sufferings to those of Christ: “her sick-bed became her cloister cell and her suffering a missionary service. Strengthened by daily communion, she became an untiring intercessor in prayer and a mirror of God’s love for the many who sought her counsel” (Canonization Homily, 21 October 2012). In the Gospel the Blessed Virgin Mary stands out as one who follows her suffering Son to the supreme sacrifice on Golgotha. She does not lose hope in God’s victory over evil, pain and death, and she knows how to accept in one embrace of faith and love, the Son of God who was born in the stable of Bethlehem and died on the Cross. Her steadfast trust in the power of God was illuminated by Christ’s resurrection, which offers hope to the suffering and renews the certainty of the Lord’s closeness and consolation.
- Monday, 11 February 2013 16:03
Following Benedict XVI’s announcement of his renunciation of the Petrine ministry, Father Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, issued this statement:
With this gesture, as imposing as it is unexpected, the Pope witnesses to us such a fullness in the relationship with Christ that he surprises us with an unprecedented act of freedom that puts the good of the Church before all else. Thus he shows everyone that he is completely entrusted to the mysterious design of an Other.
Who would not want a freedom like this?
The Pope’s gesture is a powerful reminder to renounce every human security, trusting exclusively in the strength of the Holy Spirit. It’s as if Benedict XVI said to us, in St. Paul’s words, ‘I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil 1:6).
Through the Pope’s announcement, the Lord asks us to pierce through all appearances, going back through all of the human enthusiasm with which we greeted Benedict XVI’s election and with which we have followed him in these eight years, grateful for every word of his.
We, too, desire to live the same experience of identification with Christ that dictated this historic act for the life of the Church and of the world to the Pope; and so, it is with freedom and full of wonder that we receive this extreme gesture of paternity, carried out for love of his children, entrusting his person to Our Lady so that he may continue to be our father, giving his life for the work of an Other, that is, for the edification of God’s Church.
With all of our brothers and sisters, together with Benedict XVI, we ask the Spirit of Christ to assist the Church in the choice of a father who can guide her in a historic moment that is so delicate and decisive.
CL Press Office
Milan, February 11, 2013