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Bishop McManus reacts to Pope announcing he will resign

Posted By February 11, 2013 | 7:22 am | Lead Story #1
Bishop McManus said he was stunned when he "heard the news early this morning that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has decided to resign as Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Church, effective February 28, 2013. However, upon further reflection, this dramatic news does not completely surprise me."


Statement by Bishop McManus, Diocese of Worcester, on the resignation of  Pope Benedict XVI

“I was stunned when I heard the news early this morning that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has decided to resign as Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Church, effective February 28, 2013.
“However, upon further reflection, this dramatic news does not completely surprise me.
“As recently as 2011 in an interview with a German journalist, the Holy Father said, “When a Pope arrives at a clear awareness that he no longer has the physical, mental or psychological capacity to carry out the task that has been entrusted to him, then he has the right, and in some cases, the duty to resign.”
“No doubt some people will offer reasons for the Holy Father’s decision to resign. At this point, all such explanations would be mere speculation. What we can say with certainty in that the Holy Father’s decision reflects his love for and commitment to promoting the good of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI has served the Church with extraordinary wisdom, unshakable faith and undaunted courage as a priest, theologian, cardinal and pope.
“I exhort the Catholic community here in the Diocese of and all people of good will to pray for our Holy Father, the Pope. With the serenity of faith, we believe that Christ is the head of his body, the Church and that under the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit, the College of Cardinals will elect a worthy successor to Pope Benedict XVI to govern the Church after the mind and heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

Pope Benedict XVI today said he plans to resign the papal office on Feb 28.

2013-02-11 Vatican Radio
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.
Full text of Pope’s declaration
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

Citing health reasons, Pope Benedict announces he will resign

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month.
“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,” the pope told cardinals gathered for an ordinary public consistory to approve the canonization of new saints.
Pope Benedict, who was elected in April 2005, will be the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.
He told the cardinals, “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 St. 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.”
The pope has increasingly had trouble walking in the past year, often using a cane and always being assisted getting up and down steps. However, the Vatican has never released medical information that would make it appear the pope suffers from anything other than joint pain connected to his age.
The option of a pope to resign is explicitly written into the Code of Canon Law. It says a pope may step down, but stipulates that the decision must be made freely and “duly manifested.”
Fulfilling the canonical requirement, Pope Benedict solemnly declared to the cardinals, “Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. 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 St. Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new supreme pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”
It is up to the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to make preparations for a conclave to elect a new pope.
Before ending his remarks, Pope Benedict told the cardinals, “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.”
The pope made no mention of his future plans, other than to say, “I wish to also devotedly serve the holy church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”