Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope resigns: now say some prayers

I am really saddened by the Pope's resignation. I love and admire him, at the moment I am a bit angry and yet I trust his judgement.

There have been rumours that he has been ill for some time, possibly the beginnings of Parkinson's disease. I am sure that the leaks in the Papal household haven't helped but then I trust his judgement. I am sure that he made the decision to resign coolly and without emotion, considering what is best for the Church and the See of Rome.

Now, I am going to say some prayers, for him and the Church, and commend all this to the Lord and the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and I suggest you do the same.


GOR said...

Sad news - but in some respects not surprising. Having seen the final months and days of Pope John Paul II’s papacy up close, I suspect the Holy Father doesn’t want a repetition in his own life. He had hoped to retire to a life of prayer and study eight years ago but it was not to be and he assumed the responsibilities of the papal office out of obedience to God’s will and has spent himself in discharging them.

May God grant him some time for rest, prayer and reflection.

Thank you Holy Father and ad multos annos!

AHJ said...

Duly done.

Mr Grumpy said...

I understand your anger but I don't believe he would have taken this step without being convinced that it is for the good of the Church.

Don't forget that he has outlived all his predecessors since Leo XIII, the longest-lived of them all. And bear in mind that the demands of the job must in many ways have changed more in the last eight years than in the previous eighty, making it one that would tax a man half his age. Think of the demand for a public response to every priestly abuse scandal. Remember that he entered his pontificate having never used a PC, let alone the Internet, and ended it tweeting. And the pace of change is certainly not going to slow down.

Prayers, yes, and above all thankful ones.

Pablo the Mexican said...

May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.
I entrust this whole matter in the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Mother of the Priest par excellence, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, of all priests in whom she forms her Son”.

Pray for the Holy Father.


Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

155 years from the first apparition at Lourdes - resigno.

Resigning popes:

Pontian (230-235) was the first pope to resign and his case is clear. Pontian had the misfortune of being caught up in the severe persecution of Christians under emperor Maximinus Thrax and was sent to the mines on Sardina, a place from which few evidently managed to return alive. Pontian knew that he would almost certainly die on Sardina and didn't want there to be a long-term power vacuum in the church, so he decided that abdication would be the best course of action. Pontian's abdication also gives us the first certain date in the history of papacy: September 28, 235.

Marcellinus (296 - 304) didn’t actually resign, but his actions probably caused him to cease being pope. During the Diocletian persecutions of 303, Marcellinus handed over scriptures to Roman authorities and burned incense to the pagan gods. Such actions would have disqualified him from the priesthood and, therefore, the papacy. His name was kept off the official list of popes for a while, but today he is there and his papacy is marked as ending with his death.

Silverius (536 - 537), son of Pope Hormisdas, was deposed and exiled by empress Theodora of Constantinople, brought back by emperor Justinian to stand trial, convicted, and forced by his successor Pope Vigilius to abdicate again. He starved to death on an island in the Gulf of Gaeta.

John XVIII (1003 - 1009) didn’t do much that survived in the records, but it is believed that he resigned and lived out the last years of his life in a monastery.

Benedict IX easily had the most confusing pontificate in history. He served as pope three times: he was elected, ejected, returned, abdicated, deposed, returned again, ejected again, and eventually excommunicated. Presumably at least one of his resignations may have been canonically valid, possibly even two.

Celestine V (1294) tried to rule while under the control of Charles II of Sicily, something he quickly determined wouldn’t be possible. Rather than serve as little more than a figurehead for secular powers, he simply abdicated the papal office after only 5 months. This resignation helped establish as a matter of church law that a pope may freely resign his office.

Gregory XII (1406 - 1417) was another pope who resigned for the greater good of the church. He reigned during the Western Schism and at the time there were two other rivals claiming the papacy, both with genuine support among various churches and secular powers. He agreed to abide by the decision of the Council of Constance with just one condition: that he be permitted to officially convene it. This condition was granted, thus establishing the validity to his claim to the papacy, and he resigned so that the council could elect Martin V as his successor. Gregory was the last pope to resign his office.

what next? Pope Benedict must believe it's for the longer good Peter's Barque.

Gigi said...

I was also shocked to hear this, not least because the new Pope will have to be elected around Easter. My initial reaction was that Pope Benedict would not choose to resign before Easter and just before the start of Lent unless something was very wrong. I pray his health is OK. But this is a man who was elected Pope at the age of 78, after all. He is indeed a wise and reasonable man and it may well be that he simply doesn't want a repeat of the unsettling days after John Paul II passed away. Father Ray, I hadn't thought of it as a particular opportunity for continuity of guidance until now: he's been involved with the eminent cardinals and will hopefully will indeed be on hand for a calming word or shared cuppa with his successor. Prayers on their way!

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...