Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

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Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 BentoXVI-29-10052007.jpg
Pope Benedict XVI in 2007

The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI occurred on 28 February 2013 at 20:00 CET, after having been announced on the morning of 11 February 2013 directly by himself. [1] [2] [3] Benedict XVI's decision to step down [4] as leader of the Catholic Church made him the first pope to relinquish the office since Gregory XII in 1415 [5] (who did so in order to end the Western Schism), and the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294. [6]

Central European Time standard time (UTC+01:00)

Central European Time (CET), used in most parts of Europe and a few North African countries, is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time offset from UTC can be written as UTC+01:00. The same standard time, UTC+01:00, is also known as Middle European Time and under other names like Berlin Time, Warsaw Time and Romance Standard Time (RST), Paris Time or Rome Time.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2016. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Western Schism split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417

The Western Schism, also called Papal Schism, Great Occidental Schism and Schism of 1378, was a split within the Catholic Church lasting from 1378 to 1417 in which two, since 1410 even three, men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope, having excommunicated one another. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance (1414–1418). For a time these rival claims to the papal throne damaged the reputation of the office.

Contents

The move was unexpected, [7] given that popes in the modern era have held the position from election until death. [7] The Pope stated that the reason for his decision was his declining health due to old age. [8] The conclave to select his successor began on 12 March 2013 [9] and elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who took the name of Francis.

Modern history era from ca. 1500 until present

Modern history, the modern period or the modern era, is the linear, global, historiographical approach to the time frame after post-classical history. Modern history can be further broken down into periods:

Pope Francis 266th and current Pope

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first to visit and hold papal mass in the Arabian Peninsula, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Announcement

Benedict announced in February 2013 that, due to his advanced age, he would step down. [10] [11] At the age of 85 years and 318 days on the effective date of his retirement, he was the fourth-oldest person to hold the office of pope.[ citation needed ]

He announced his intention to resign in Latin at the Apostolic Palace in the Sala del Concistoro, at an early morning gathering on 11 February 2013, which was the World Day of the Sick, a Vatican holy day. The gathering was to announce the date of the canonisation of 800 Catholic martyrs, [12] Antonio Primaldo and companions, as well as the Latin American nuns Laura Montoya Upegui and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala. [13] [14] At the ceremony, known as the "Consistory for the canonization of the martyrs of Otranto", he told those present he had made "a decision of great importance for the life of the church". [2] [15] In a statement, Benedict cited his deteriorating strength due to old age and the physical and mental demands of the papacy. [8] He also declared that he would continue to serve the church "through a life dedicated to prayer". [8]

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Apostolic Palace official residence of the Pope in Vatican City

The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishop of Rome, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, Palace of the Vatican and Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace.

The Sala del Concistoro is a large hall on the third loggia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City. The room is in the residential wing of the palace, added by Pope Sixtus V. It was decorated by Pope Clement VIII. Clement's coat of arms feature on the ceiling of the hall.

Two days after the announcement, Benedict presided over his final public Mass, Ash Wednesday services that ended with congregants bursting into a "deafening standing ovation that lasted for minutes" [16] while the pontiff departed St. Peter's Basilica. [17] On 17 February 2013, Pope Benedict, speaking in Spanish, requested prayers from the crowd in front of St. Peter's Square for himself and the new pope. [18]

Ash Wednesday first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer, fasting, and repentance. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Old Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and some Baptists.

St. Peters Basilica Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Post-papacy

According to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, Pope Benedict XVI would not have the title of Cardinal upon his retirement and would not be eligible to hold any office in the Roman Curia. [19] On 26 February 2013, Father Lombardi stated that the Pope's style and title after resignation are His Holiness Benedict XVI, Roman Pontiff Emeritus , or Pope Emeritus. [20] In later years, Benedict expressed his desire to be simply known as "Father Benedict" in conversation. [21]

Federico Lombardi Catholic italian priest

Federico Lombardi, S.J. is an Italian Catholic priest and the former director of the Holy See Press Office. He serves as the postulator for the beatification and canonization cause of Father Bernardo Mattio.

A style of office, honorific or manner/form of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address, and may often be used in conjunction with a title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.

His Holiness is a style and form of address for some supreme religious leaders. The title is most notably used by the Pope, Oriental Orthodox Patriarchs, and Dalai Lama.

He continues to wear his distinctive white cassock without the mozzetta and without the red papal shoes, opting to wear a pair of brown shoes that he received during a state visit to Mexico. Cardinal Camerlengo Tarcisio Bertone destroyed the Ring of the Fisherman and the lead seal of Benedict’s pontificate. [20]

Benedict took up residence in the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo immediately following his resignation. The Swiss Guard serves as the personal body guard to the pope, so their service at Castel Gandolfo ended with Benedict's resignation. [20] The Vatican Gendarmerie ordinarily provides the security of the Papal summer residence, and they became solely responsible for the personal security of the former Pope. [20] Benedict moved permanently to Vatican City's Mater Ecclesiae on 2 May 2013, a monastery previously used by nuns for stays of up to several years at a time. [22] [23] According to anonymous Vatican officials, Benedict's continued presence in the Vatican City will assist with the provision of security, prevent his retirement location from becoming a place of pilgrimage, and provide him with legal protection from potential lawsuits. [24]

Reactions

State

Religious

Catholic

Metropolitan Archbishop of Lagos, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins said of the resignation: [42]

We do not have this sort of event happening everyday. But at the same time, we know that the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983, makes provision for the resignation of the Pope, if he becomes incapacitated or, as with Benedict XVI, if he believes he is no longer able to effectively carry out his official functions as head of the Roman Catholic Church due to a decline in his physical ability. This is not the first time that a Pope would resign. In fact, we have had not less than three who resigned, including Pope Celestine V in 1294 and Pope Gregory XII in 1415. Pope Benedict XVI was not forced into taking that decision. Like he said in his own words, he acted with ‘full freedom,’ being conscious of the deep spiritual implication of his action... By his decision, the Holy Father has acted gallantly and as such we must commend and respect his decision.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said that Benedict "brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse". [40] [41]

George W. Rutler, pastor of St. Michael's church in New York City, [43] having the Regensburg lecture in mind, refers to Mark 6:4 and Jeremiah: [44] "If a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, a great prophet is not without honor save in the whole world. […] Of one thing we may be certain: like the bold prophet Jeremiah, the benign prophet Benedict will never say in this world or from the next, 'I told you so.' Reality has said that already by events more than words."

Jewish

A spokesman for Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, stated: "During his period there were the best relations ever between the church and the chief rabbinate and we hope that this trend will continue. I think he deserves a lot of credit for advancing inter-religious links the world over between Judaism, Christianity and Islam." The spokesman also said that Metzger wished Benedict XVI "good health and long days." [45]

Tibetan

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and spiritual head of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism expressed sadness over his resignation, while noting "his decision must be realistic, for the greater benefit to concern the people." [46]

Other authors

Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist, expressed his view that "nothing in his papacy became him like the leaving of it: His stunning 2013 resignation was the kind of revolutionary gesture that the church so badly needed..." [47] , whereas Roberto de Mattei concludes: "the resignation of Benedict XVI, which for Socci was the choice of a mission, is for me the symbol of the surrender of the Church to the world." [48]

Final week

Benedict XVI in the popemobile at final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013 Benedict XVI's Last Audience.jpg
Benedict XVI in the popemobile at final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013

Benedict XVI delivered his final Angelus on Sunday, 24 February. He told the gathered crowd, who carried flags and thanked the pope, "Thank you for your affection. [I will take up a life of prayer and meditation] to be able to continue serving the church." [49] The pope appeared for the last time in public during his regular Wednesday audience on 27 February 2013. [50] [51] By 16 February, 35,000 people had already registered to attend the audience. [52] On the evening of 27 February there was a candlelight vigil to show support for Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Square. [53] On his final day as pope, Benedict held an audience with the college of Cardinals, and at 16:15 (4:15 PM) local time he boarded a helicopter and flew to Castel Gandolfo. There he waited out the final hours of his papacy. [54] At about 17:30 (5:30 PM), he addressed the masses from the balcony for the last time as Pope. [55]

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