|Pope Benedict XVI (Lft)|
• Pope Benedict XVI to step down
• Pontiff says his age means he lacks strength to do job
• First pope to resign in 600 years
Vatican City, Feb 11, 2013: The Patriarch of Rome Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation over aging and declining health. His resignation will take place on 28th of February 2013. He is the first ever Pope to resign 600 years.
The Roman Catholic Church was in communion with the Oriental (Ancient) Orthodox Church until the schism of Chalcedon Council in A.D. 451. It is one of the seven ancient Patriarchates of the Christian world, but sadly fall out of communion from rest of the sister Ancient (Oriental) and Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates.
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
First pontiff to resign in almost 600 years
Vatican City, Feb 11, 2013 / 07:20 am (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI told a gathering of cardinals Feb. 11 that he no longer has the strength to carry out ministry and will resign on Feb. 28.
“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,” Pope Benedict said.
He made his remarks in Latin to a meeting of cardinals who were gathered to vote on whether or not to canonize three people.
The last pontiff to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415.
At a quickly arranged Feb. 11 press conference, Father Federico Lombardi told the media that there is no sickness the Pope is suffering from that is behind this decision.
“It’s something that happens normally in people with advanced age,” the Vatican spokesman said.
Pope Benedict observed his lack of strength “over the past few months and courageously came to this decision, ”the spokesman said.
He also stressed that Pope Benedict made the decision after carefully examining his conscience and the responsibilities of his office.
“This is an absolutely personal decision made with his conscience before God,” he remarked.
One member of the press commented on the contrast between Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, who suffered with Parkinson’s disease until he passed away on April 2005.
Fr. Lombardi said Benedict XVI respects the decision of his predecessor and that with his suffering he offered a great testimony to the Church.
Pope Gregory XII, the last pope to resign from the Vatican, did so among a period of political turmoil in the church that rivaled the moral upheaval of the pedophile priest scandals of today.
With his announcement that he would step down on Feb. 28, Pope Benedict XVI, 85, became the first pontiff to leave office in nearly 600 years.
Pope Gregory XII quit in 1415 amid a civil war in the Roman Catholic Church known as the Great Western Schism.