Five Years

Here is my post on February 11, 2013.  TAC was one of the first Catholic sources in the US to announce the news:


There is a report just in that Pope Benedict is resigning on February 28.

VATICAN CITY) — Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.

This would be the fifth time that a Pope has abdicated in the history of the Papacy, the most recent being Pope Gregory XII in 1415.  Further details as they come in.

Update:  Here is the statement of the Pope:

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 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


The conclave to elect a new Pope is scheduled for March.

Go here to view the comments.  Anyone have a sense of foreboding at the time?  I confess that I did not although I was curious as to why the resignation was occurring.  I assumed that more info would be forthcoming.  Half a decade later and we are still waiting.  The Church should be much more transparent than that.

Share With Friends
  • 1

Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Pope Emeritus mentioned strength of mind and body, of which he believed he was inadequate to fill the ministry. God bless him, however his departure is unusual. Was not St.Pope JP II an inspiration to Benedict? An example?

    I have great difficulty believing in the simple exit… retirement. Force out?
    Foreboding. Yes. It wasn’t a Sun burst over Saint Peters Basilica that late afternoon.

  2. Let me expand on that. Good people do stupid things, and there is no person (except Mary and Jesus) who has not done something incredibly stupid. Even sinful. I think it very possible that Pope B may have done something stupid, perhaps sinful (maybe even very sinful) that he went to confession for. God, of course, forgave him (just like God forgave Saul, and then Saul went on to become St. Paul).
    The current Court of Public Opinion, however, is not so forgiving. Maybe someone found out–or knew all along– and Pope B felt the need to resign and was hoping for another young, JPII type to be elected. Perhaps B felt he was simply too elderly to fight the good fight and a younger man would better connect with the flock, and so he gambled. Perhaps he, and we, lost that one.
    On the other hand, the vileness that is coming out of the Church is pretty clear to see, and perhaps that is simply part of God’s cleaning process. We’ve got quite a ways to go. This will likely take years, if not decades.
    I do not know if that is true. But if in the future, something along those lines is learned to be true, I would not be surprised.

  3. It was reasonably foreseeable that the progressive forces which backed Bergoglio in 2005 would take another run at it in 2013. It was their last chance, really. Benedict gambled they wouldn’t win. He was wrong and the whole Church is paying the price.

  4. The final word is Christ’s.

    The severity and length of this chastisement is only known by Him. He wants our prayers quadrupled and our hearts pure. Our confidence in Him is OUR strength and completely relying on Him will serve two causes. First. Humility. Our willingness to turn the our sorrows into Joy stem from our complete trust that He is in control. No Lavender Mafia or Peron centered pontificate will bust this ship.

    Two. Our relationship with Holy Mary our Mother will benefit our souls during any storm as long as we don’t abandon her #1 weapon against heresies. Our daily rosaries.

    Making up the heel of Her who crushes the head of the Serpent is an honor. Don’t miss out on the opportunity by cursing the darkness.. okay?!

    In the end, Her Immaculate Heart will Triumph!

Comments are closed.