Pope Benedict XVI gave his public farewell today, saying he had some good times, some pretty tough times, but forcefully defending his “grave” and “novel” decision to resign.
“I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way near to the Crucified Lord,” as our own Alessandro Speciale reports.
Full English translation of the papal “Auf Wiedersehen” courtesy of Vatican Radio.
As John Thavis notes, B16 also gave a big public hug to the Roman curia, which has come in for a lot of criticism from the men who will be electing Benedict’s successor next month.
Australia’s Cardinal George Pell is the latest to ding the curia, and the pope himself, just a bit.
But look, the pope is a saint compared with the last Benedict to resign the papacy. Dan Burke has the fascinating historical tale, with some modern relevance.
LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahony is tweeting from Rome already, but is also keeping up his passive-aggressive Lenten blogging: people are too critical these days, he says, and he lashes out at the media and lawyers and everyone else who attacks him unfairly. But he prays for us. So we’re all good.
Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson is now leading in the bookmakers’ tip sheet.
But what do they now? Check out our March Madness papal bracketology – the “Sweet Sistine” may be no more scientific, but at least it’s a bit more fun. And classy: no money involved.
Whoever the new pope is, it looks like he has a date in the U.S. in 2015 – in Philadelphia. Goodness knows the church there could use a shot in the arm.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan has a date with President Obama at the White House as the hierarchy and the administration seem determined to try to work things out on a range of issue. Know hope. Or no hope?
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni this week wrote that priestly celibacy is pretty much the reason for everything bad that has ever happened in the church, and maybe anywhere. Jesuit Francis X. Clooney, who is meditating on the Yoga Sutras for Lent, has a gentle but pointed pushback that notes just a couple of the places Frank goes off the rails. Bonus: it’s not just about Catholicism.
Apropos: Which religions are the most chaste? Check out the graph above, then read about the study.
A beautiful new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art underscores the centrality of biblical narratives and imagery to the lives of African-American Christians.
RNS columnist Tom Ehrich says establishment Christianity’s bubble is bursting. In another RNS column, David Beckmann of Bread for the World says Congree needs to address the real roots of the immigration crisis.
Question of the Day: Can satire be used to prompt religious reform? Christopher Grenda, an associate professor of history at CUNY-Bronx Community College, discusses his recent research.
And that has nothing to do with Seth McFarland hosting the Oscars. Because that was a few yards short of satire.
But maybe this Video of the Day, the ecclesiastical game show “Choose Your Pope,” from the folks at “Lutheran Satire” (via Mirror of Justice), qualifies. Let us know, and also put your email in the subscriber box below so you can have this much fun every morning. Free.