This morning, I woke up and rolled over to check the time. I am also in the habit of reading emails and news before I get out of bed in the morning as well. This morning’s news of the resignation of our Holy Father, Benedict, came as a surprise. At first, when I went to tell Joshua, I was very sad and confused. Joshua and I talked for a few moments and the fear rather quickly moved to excitement for the Conclave that will be coming and the election of a new pope!
Yes, I am sad at the resignation of Pope Benedict, as he has been a wonderful shepherd these nearly 8 years, but I understand why he will be stepping down. Let us all pray for our Holy Father and for the upcoming Conclave, and for our next Holy Father, whoever he may be.
“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,” he said in a statement addressed to cardinals. “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,” he continued in his statement, which was dated February 10 and released by Vatican Radio on February 11. “However, in todayâ€™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,” he added.
“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.”