My heart is heavy with the announcement by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign as Pontiff on February 28. In his announcement spoken in Latin to a small gathering of Cardinals, he said:
I 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
As the conclave prepares to gather, let us begin our prayer for the election for the new pope:
O Lord, with suppliant humility we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who, by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honored by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through our Lord. (Collect)
This too is still an appropriate prayer for the Pope.
Shameless Popery posted this prayer.
Dolan: “Thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict”
The Pope’s Paper: “Benedict Leaves” (Rocco Palmo)
Papal Conclave Electors and Other Information (Dr. Edward Peters)
Notes About the Upcoming Conclave (Fr. Zuhlsdorf)
4 thoughts on “Pope Benedict to Step Down”
Mine too Sister Lisa
I putting my trust in the two hearts of Jesus and Mary! praying for our Pope and his needs… and each other.
Yes, on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we ask her to intercede for Pope Benedict and for the coming Conclave. Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for us!
It must have been an extremely difficult decision for him to make, what a wonderful, humble, brilliant teacher he is. My heart too is heavy, but I must say I have been expecting it, he has been looking more and more frail and exhausted lately. May our Blessed Mother and Jesus, sustain him during the next few weeks, and may he have a time of rest and quiet in his last years.
Amen. I posted some links to other prayers for Pope Benedict and the forthcoming conclave. God be with us, through the intercession of Mary.