Pope Benedict Steps Down: Full Text Of His Resignation Letter

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the first time in almost 600 years a sitting Pope has resigned, leaving the leadership of the Catholic Church, one of the world’s richest and most powerful organizations–religious or secular–in transition.

Citing his failing health, Pope Benedict XVI, announced to Cardinals that he was no longer able to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and would step down on Feb. 28.

Benedict, a German, was, at 78, the oldest Pope ever installed as the leader of Catholic Church. Now 85, and in frail health, Benedict said in a statement this morning that to lead the church, “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.”

(full text below).

Few positions on Earth are as powerful and influential as leadership of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict ranked 5th this year on our annual list of the World’s Most Powerful people trailing only US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

At the National Catholic Register, Thomas Reece explains that while the move is certainly legal (though rare–only 10 Popes have ever resigned in the history of the Church) “Most modern popes have felt that resignation is unacceptable,” writes Reece. “As Paul VI said, paternity cannot be resigned. In addition, Paul feared setting a precedent that would encourage factions in the church to pressure future popes to resign for reasons other than health.”

Here’s the full text of Pope’s statement, as presented on the Vatican web site:

Dear Brothers,

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 barque 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


[forbes.com]

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Pope Benedict Steps Down: Full Text Of His Resignation Letter

  1. je commande régulièrement sur ce site, car le choix est important, que la commande est facile à passer.
    il y a très souvent des promotions, les prix sont corrects.
    et il est facile de changer les articles ou de se faire rembourser si l’article ne convient pas.
    en outre on peut utiliser des codes qui offrent des cadeaux
    ou des réductions. parfait, rien à redire,
    respect des articles et de leur délai de livraison toujours
    satisfaite des articles commandés cela correspond
    bien aux articles proposés dans le catalogue.

    large choix de commandes, er le suivi de livraisons permet
    de connaitre l’état d’avancement en temps réel de notre
    colis.

  2. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  3. I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal website and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

  4. This article concerning Search engine optimisation is genuinely good one, and the back links are genuinely very valuable to promote your website, its also referred to as Search engine optimization.

  5. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here
    to go back the choose?.I’m attempting to in finding things to enhance my website!I guess its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

  6. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I really believed you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  7. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  8. Hi that’s quite amazing. We wouldn’t mind having your send in articles and also encourage others to do same. We would be happy and glad to have your articles published. Thank you again

  9. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web log!

  10. Thanks so much for providing individuals with a very memorable chance to read articles and blog posts from this website. It is usually very awesome and jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your website at the least 3 times in a week to see the latest tips you have. And indeed, I am always motivated considering the cool creative ideas you give. Certain 4 facts on this page are in truth the most suitable we have all had.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s