On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the ministry of Peter, and said that a “person is not the author of his own vocation.”
The first pope to resign in 600 years, Benedict said he is simply too old, too tired to continue in the demanding role.
“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.”
We should have a new pope by Easter, said a Vatican spokesman, who expressed surprise at Benedict’s sudden announcement.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was also apparently surprised, telling NBC’s Today Show, “I’m as startled as the rest of you and as anxious to find out exactly what’s going on.”
The pope’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, told the AP that Benedict had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had considered stepping down for months.
Let the legacy games begin.
The pedophilia scandal exploded during Benedict’s reign, the AP said, handing him the church’s biggest crisis in decades, if not centuries
Advocates for victims of sexual abuse say Benedict did not go far enough to rid the church of abusive clergy.
RNS has a roundup of reactions here. Please let us know if you see any other newsworthy statements.
What’s next for Benedict and his Roman Catholic Church? Stay tuned here for updates.
Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power already has odds on the next pope.
A lot of journalists will expend oodles of time and energy on smart articles about Benedict’s legacy and the future of the Catholic Church, and you know what post will get the most hits?
Or maybe this HuffPost piece about what Benedict will do with all the presents he received during his papacy. I think Berlusconi gave him a big box of pizza.
Lo and behold, there was other news today. Let’s get to it, shall we?
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles took $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund to pay a clerical abuse settlement, the LA Times reports.
Did Cardinal Mahony and Archbishop Gomez mend their fences?
Not all Catholic bishops seem ready to reject Obama’s contraception compromise, according to Commonweal magazine.
The Obama administration will soon file two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases that will come before the Supreme Court this spring. That’s just the sort of thing that cheers Christian lefties.
Not cheered: James Dobson. The Focus on the Family Founder and newly minted novelist has a rather bleak view of the future.
Sixteen Amish sectarians (is that redundant?) were sentenced from one to 15 years in prison for their roles in the beard-cutting attacks.
A stampede killed 37 Hindus during a religious festival in India on Sunday. It seems like this happens way too often.
Amid a civil war, Syria’s Greek Orthodox Church enthroned a new patriarch in Damascus on Sunday, the AP reports.
An Egyptian court ordered the government to block access to YouTube for 30 days because it carried the video trailer for the movie “Innocence of Muslims.” Kind of like blaming the mailman for bad news, no?
Rose French examines the growth of Pentecostalism in Minnesota, where they need all the fire they can get.
Not much God at the Grammys last night, unless you count Frank Ocean and Jay-Z’s win for “No Church in the Wild.”
(Reader Liz Essley points out the Christian rapper Lecrae won a Grammy for best Gospel album. But he missed accepting his award because he was reportedly stuck on the red carpet.)
Speaking of wild, a Catholic moral theologian thinks young women should watch “Downton Abbey.”
The Forward catches the man who killed Spiderman.
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