Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Go and do likewise –21st World Day of the Sick

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.

The Incredible Freedom of a Man Taken Hold of By Christ, Fr Julián Carrón recalls

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

The timeline for Pope Benedict

The pressman for the Pope gives the timeline as we know it:

  • Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. [PAZ: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”]
  • Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the Conclave for the election of his successor.
  • Pope Benedict XVI will move to the Papal residence in Castel Gandolfo when his resignation shall become effective.
  • When renovation work on the monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican is complete, the Holy Father will move there for a period of prayer and reflection.

Papal resignations

Pope Benedict XVI will be the 7th pope to have resigned his office.

Pope St Celestine V with Benedict.jpg

The picture shows Pope Benedict XVI placing a pallium on the casket of 13th-century Pope Saint Celestine V. 

Saint Celestine V was one of the few popes who resigned or abdicated (contrary to the claim by many writers that he was the only pope to do so) in 1294. 

The other popes who did so were: 

  • Pontian in 235
  • Silverius in 537
  • Martin I in 653
  • John XVIII retired to a monastery in 1009
  • Benedict IX abdicated in 1045 but was restored to office in 1047
  • Gregory XII resigned in 1415 in an effort to end the Great Schism that split the Church from 1378 to 1417; appointed Bishop of Porto by the Council meeting in Constance.

Pope Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005: 7 years, 10 months, 10 days.

Among the popes, Benedict has served a good time, some say. In comparison:

Pope Urban VII: 13 days (1590)

Pope John Paul II: 26 years, 4 months (1978-2005)

Pope Pius IX: 31 years, 7 months, 23 days (1846-1878)

There is no one to accept Pope Benedict’s resignation but God. We ought to recognize in the Benedict’s intention to resign the petrine Office a profound act of humility and integrity; one can say without certainty that this is a man takes his vocation seriously so as to take such an unusual step for the good of the Church. 

Pope Benedict intends to resign the Petrine Office

This morning Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign the petrine office. His note of intention is dated on the feast of Saint Scholastica, the twin sister of Saint Benedict. The resignation become effective on 28 February at 8pm. He will finish paperwork and quietly retire.

B16 foppoli.jpgI have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. 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. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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