- POPE RENOUNCES PAPAL THRONE
- CARDINAL SODANO EXPRESSES COLLEGE
OF CARDINALS' NEARNESS TO POPE
- DIRECTOR OF HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE ON POPE'S
- DAY BENEDICT XVI WAS ELECTED
- COMPOSITION OF THE
POPE RENOUNCES PAPAL THRONE
Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father, at the end of today's
consistory for causes for canonization, announced his resignation from ministry
as Bishop of Rome to the College of Cardinals. Following is the Holy Father's
complete declaration, which he read in Latin:
"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 fulfil 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
CARDINAL SODANO EXPRESSES COLLEGE OF CARDINALS' NEARNESS TO POPE
Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the
College of Cardinals, on hearing the news of the Pope's resignation from the
Petrine ministry, expressed his nearness, and that of all the cardinals, to
"We have heard you," he said, "with a sense of loss and almost disbelief. In
your words we see the great affection that you have always had for God's Holy
Church, for this Church that you have loved so much. Now, let me say, on behalf
of this apostolic cenacle?the College of Cardinals?on behalf of your beloved
collaborators, allow me to say that we are closer than ever to you, as we have
been during these almost eight luminous years of your pontificate. On 19 April
2005, if I remember correctly, at the end of the conclave I asked … 'Do you
accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?' And you did not hesitate,
although moved with emotion, to answer that you accepted, trusting in the Lord's
grace and the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. Like Mary on
that day she gave her 'yes', and your luminous pontificate began, following in
the wake of continuity, in that continuity with your 265 predecessors in the
Chair of Peter, over two thousand years of history from the Apostle Peter, the
humble Galilean fisherman, to the great popes of the last century from St. Pius
X to Blessed John Paul II."
"Holy Father, before 28 February, the day that, as you have said, you wish to
place the word 'end' to your pontifical service, conducted with so much love and
so humbly, before 28 February, we will be able to better express our feelings.
So too will the many pastors and faithful throughout the world, so too all those
of good will together with the authorities of many countries. … Also, still this
month, we will have the joy of listening to your voice as pastor: Ash Wednesday,
Thursday with the clergy of Rome, in the Sunday Angelus, and the Wednesday
general audiences, we will still have many occasions to hear your paternal
voice. … Your mission, however, will continue. You have said that you will
always be near us with your witness and your prayer. Of course, the stars always
continue to shine and so will the star of your pontificate always shine among
us. We are near to you, Holy Father, and we ask you to bless
DIRECTOR OF HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE ON POPE'S RESIGNATION
Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the
Holy See Press Office, commented there and on Vatican Radio on Benedict XVI's
resignation of the papacy. "Among the reasons for the Pope's resignation, as he
noted in his own words," he said, "are the circumstances of today's world that,
in relation to the past, are particularly difficult, both because of the speed
as well as the number of events and problems that arise that, therefore, need a
vigour, perhaps stronger than in the past. It is a vigour that the Pope says he
has felt diminish in him in recent months."
He continued, "The phrase: '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,' is very significant This is the formal declaration, which is
important from a juridical point of view. In paragrapgh 2 of canon 332 of the
Code of Canon Law, we read: 'Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns
from his office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made
and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.'
The two fundamental points are, therefore, freedom and due manifestation.
Freedom and public manifestation, and the consistory in which the Pope
manifested his will is public."
"Benedict XVI will continue to fully carry out his functions and his service
until 28 February at 8:00pm. From that moment on the situation of Sede Vacante
will begin, regulated, from a legal and canonical standpoint, by the texts
referring to Sede Vacante in the Code of Canon Law and the Apostolic
Constitution 'Universi dominici gregis' by John Paul II, regarding the Sede
Vacante of the Apostolic See."
"The Pope's announcement is consistent with what he declared in the book
'Light of the World' by Peter Seewald, based on interviews with Benedict XVI.
Seewald posed two precise questions on the hypothesis of resignation. In the
first, he asked the Holy Father whether, in difficult situations that weigh on
the pontificate in progress, the Pope would consider resigning. Benedict's
response was: 'When the danger is great, one cannot escape. For this reason,
surely, this would not be the time to resign' (he was referring to the question
of sexual abuse, etc.). Moments like this are the times when one has to be
strong and face the difficult situation. This is what I think. One can resign in
a time of peace, or when one simply no longer has the strength, but one cannot
escape in a moment of danger saying 'someone else take care of it'. In any case,
the Pope said that the difficulties would not be, for him, a motive for
resignation; rather, they would be a reason not to. Seewald's second question
was: 'Well then, can you imagine a situation in which you would think that a
Pope could resign?' The Holy Father responded: 'When a Pope realizes clearly
that he is no longer physically, mentally, and spiritually capable of carrying
out his role, then there is legally the possibility, and also the obligation, to
The Director of the Holy See's Press Office explained that the Holy Father
"will move to Castel Gandolfo on 28 February, and, once he has finished the
tasks he has in progress, he will take up residence in the former cloistered
monastery in the Vatican. The process for the election of a new Pope will begin
on1 March. We do not yet know the exact date of the conclave, but obviously
there will be no need to wait the normal eight days of mourning (novendali)
after the death of the Pope. Thus, in two weeks, during the month of March, in
time for Easter, we will have a new Pope ... Benedict XVI will have no role in
next March's conclave, nor in the running of the Church during the time between
popes, the time of Sede Vacante. The Apostolic Constitution gives no role in
this transition to a pope who resigns."
"Personally," he concluded, "I received the announcement of the Pope's
resignation with great admiration, for its great valour, for the Holy Father's
freedom of spirit and great concern for the responsibility of his ministry.
Benedict XVI has offered us a great witness of spiritual freedom, of great
wisdom in regard to Church government in today's
DAY BENEDICT XVI WAS ELECTED
VATICAN CITY, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – It will soon be eight years since 19
April 2013, the day that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of
Cardinals, was elected as Supreme Pontiff, the 264th successor of Peter, and
chose the name Benedict XVI.
The cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, made the solemn
announcement to the people at 6:43pm from the external loggia of the Hall of
Blessings of the Vatican Basilica following the white smoke which occurred at
Following are the words of Cardinal Medina Estevez:
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum;
Eminentissium ac Reverendissium Dominum,
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger
Qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI
(I announce to you with great joy;
We have a Pope;
The most eminent and most reverend Lord,
Cardinal of Holy Roman Church Ratzinger
Who has taken the name Benedict XVI)
The conclave that led to the election of Benedict XVI began on Monday, 18
April 2005, in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with the
"extra omnes" pronounced at 5:25pm by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of the
Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, following the taking of the oath
by the 115 cardinal electors.
The first black smoke took place at 8:04pm the same day.
On Tuesday, April 19, there was black smoke at 11:52am.
On Tuesday, April 19, there was white smoke at 5:50pm.
At 6:48pm, the Holy Father Benedict XVI, preceded by the Cross, appeared on
the external loggia to greet the people and to impart the Apostolic Blessing
"Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world).
Prior to the blessing, the new Pontiff addressed the faithful with the
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,"
"After the great Pope John Paul II, the Lord Cardinals have elected me, a
simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. I am consoled by the fact
that the Lord knows how to act, even with inadequate instruments and above all I
entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, trusting in His
permanent help, as we go forward the Lord will help us, and His Mother, Mary
Most Holy, will be at our side. Thank
COMPOSITION OF THE CONCLAVE
Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – The conclave to elect the successor of
Benedict XVI will be regulated by the "Ordo Rituum Conclavis" established by
John Paul II's apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis", para. 27. The
Cardinal Camerlengo, who has a fundamental role during the Sede Vacante period,
is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed by Benedict XVI on 4 April 2007.
The Cardinal electors, by their continents of provenance, will be 61
Europeans, 19 Latin Americans, 14 North Americans, 11 Africans, 11 Asians, and 1
from Oceania. These figures may vary depending on the date that the conclave
opens: for example, Cardinal Walter Kasper will turn 80 on 5 March. The country
with the greatest number of Cardinal electors is Italy, with 21. Sixty-seven of
the electors were created by Benedict XVI and the remaining 50 by John Paul
One of John Paul II's innovations regarding the period of conclave is that
the Cardinal electors?of whom there will be 117 on 28 February?will be housed in
the Vatican residence Casa Santa Marta, which is independent from the place
where they vote, the Sistine Chapel.
The Cardinal electors must remain in the Vatican during the entire period of
conclave, and no one can approach them when they move from the Sistine Chapel to
their place of residence or vice versa. All forms of communication with the
outside world are prohibited. As in the past, the Sistine Chapel stove will be
used to burn the ballots after each vote.