Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

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

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

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Pope Benedict’s baptism of 20 children today: they inherit eternal life

An annual tradition on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the baptism of the children by the Pope in the Sistine Chapel. Today, Benedict baptized 20 children. This is the same place where the cardinals meet under lock and key to elect a new pontiff. Here is the pope’s teaching.


Baptism of the Christ AVerrochio.jpg

The joy arising from the celebration of Christmas finds its completion today in the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. To this joy is added another reason for those of us who are gathered here: in the Sacrament of Baptism that will soon be administered to these infants, the living and active presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested, enriching the Church with new children, enlivening and making them grow, and we cannot help but rejoice. I wish to extend a special greeting to you, dear parents and godparents, who today bear witness to your faith by requesting Baptism for these children, because they are regenerated to new life in Christ and become part of the community of believers.

The Gospel account of Jesus’ baptism, which we have heard today according to St Luke’s account, shows the path of abasement and humility that the Son of God freely chose in order to adhere to the plan of the Father, to be obedient to His loving will for mankind in all things, even to the sacrifice on the Cross. Having reached adulthood, Jesus begins His public ministry by going to the River Jordan to receive from John the baptism of repentance and conversion. What happens may appear paradoxical to our eyes. Does Jesus need repentance and conversion? Of course not. Yet He Who is without sin is placed among the sinners to be baptized, to fulfil this act of repentance; the Holy One of God joins those who recognize in themselves the need for forgiveness and ask God for the gift of conversion – that is, the grace to turn to Him with their whole heart, to be totally His. Jesus wills to put Himself on the side of sinners, by being in solidarity with them, expressing the nearness of God. Jesus shows solidarity with us, with our effort to convert, to leave behind our selfishness, to detach ourselves from our sins, saying to us that if we accept Him into our lives, He is able to raise us up and lead us the heights of God the Father. And this solidarity of Jesus is not, so to speak, a mere exercise of the mind and will. Jesus was really immersed in our human condition; He lived it to the utmost – although without sin – and in such a way that He understands weakness and fragility. Therefore He is moved to compassion; He chooses to “suffer with” men, to be penitent together with us. This is the work of God that Jesus wishes to accomplish: the divine mission to heal those who are wounded and to cure those who are sick, to take upon Himself the sin of the world.

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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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