Pope Resigns: Five Strange Facts


Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger decided to resign as the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and leader of the Catholic Church. Pontiff says he lacks the strength to do his job. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the resignation was not due to any specific illness. The pope may have wanted to resign now to avoid the exhausting rush of Easter engagements,

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope, a position in which he serves dual roles as Sovereign of the Vatican City State and leader of the Catholic Church. As Pope, he is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle.

There are Five Strange Facts about the Papal Resignation (Facts I have gathered through Social Media, thank you friends)

1. His Chosen Date: February 28

Feb 28 is a Vatican holiday to announce his resignation. It celebrates the 1929 treaty establishing Vatican City as a separate state.

 

2. Peter the Roman (the prophecy of Popes)

The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon. It is the prophecy of the last pope, Peter the Roman.

“In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop].
Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations:
and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed,
and the terrible judge will judge his people.
The End.”

 

3. 598 years after 

In 1415, Pope  Gregory XII  resigned the papacy. He ended the era of the Great Schism.

Pope Celestine V is  notable for abdicating papacy.

 

4. Papal Controversies

John Hooper in Rome analyses Benedict’s seven-year papacy, which he calls “sad and storm-tossed”.

The former Joseph Ratzinger came to the highest office in the Roman Catholic church with a reputation as a challenging, conservative intellectual. But the messages that he sought to convey were all but drowned out, first by a string of controversies that were largely of his own making, and subsequently by the outcry – particularly in Europe – over sexual abuse of young people by Catholic clerics …

The pope was himself affected by one of these scandals. It emerged that, while he was archbishop of Munich, a known molester was quietly re-assigned to duties that, in time, allowed him to return to pastoral duties and make contact with young people …

In 2006, he outraged Muslims when, in a scholarly lecture at his old university in Regensburg, he used a quotation to the effect that the contributions made by Muhammad were “only evil and inhuman”. That, at least, had the effect of stimulating an exchange with a group of Muslim scholars. But little that was positive emerged from other controversies.

Benedict offended indigenous Latin Americans by claiming that the colonisation of their continent had not involved “the imposition of a foreign culture”. And he angered Jews by allowing wider use of the old, Tridentine liturgy, which includes a Good Friday plea that they be “delivered from their darkness”.

 

5. Papacy is not a job

The black smoke was produced twice in 2005, even if the bells did not rang, when the white smoke was seen we are aware we have a new pope. We will see another papal concave by March 2013. After 8 years in position, can he really resign?

Papacy is not a job. The papal job description is to feed the sheep. Servus servorum Dei, literally means Servant of Servants of God.

John 21:15-17
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 

A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

*Disclaimer: Facts are gathered through research, It is best to check for more facts after this post. 

Below is the full text of Benedict XVI’s resignation letter:

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 

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

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