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The bizarre stories of the four other popes to have resigned in the last 1,000 years
Washington Post ^ | 02/12/2013 | Max Fisher

Posted on 02/11/2013 12:13:19 PM PST by SeekAndFind

On Feb. 28, Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. That’s not just tradition — it’s dogma. The Washington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren cited a theological expert in explaining, “Most modern popes have felt that resignation is unacceptable except in cases of an incurable or debilitating disease — that paternity, in the words of Paul IV, cannot be resigned.”

But Benedict XVI’s resignation is even more curious when compared to the handful of others who have left the powerful office willingly. In the past 1000 years, only four other popes have resigned. Here are their unusual stories, which are also an indication of just how much the church has changed.

* Pope Benedict IX, in 1045: At age 33 and about 10 years into his tumultuous term, the Rome-born pope resigned so that he could get married – and to collect some cash from his godfather, also Roman, who paid Benedict IX to step down so that he might replace him, according to British historian Reginald L. Poole’s definitive and much-cited history of the 11th century.

* Pope Gregory VI, in 1046: The same man who had bribed and replaced his godson ended up leaving the office himself only a year later, according to Poole’s account. The trouble began when Benedict IX failed to secure the bride he’d resigned for, leading him to change his mind and return to the Vatican. Both popes remained in the city, both claiming to rule the Catholic church, for several months. That fall, the increasingly despondent clergy called on the German Emperor Henry III, of the Holy Roman Empire, to invade Rome and remove them both.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: pope; resignation; vatican

1 posted on 02/11/2013 12:13:27 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Maybe he’s tired of swearing off beer for Lent.


2 posted on 02/11/2013 12:18:40 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: SeekAndFind

What’s this bride thing? I thought they were supposed to be celibate or something like that.


3 posted on 02/11/2013 12:21:35 PM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral.)
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To: jiggyboy

RE: Maybe he’s tired of swearing off beer for Lent.

News is that Benedict is going to retire to a monastery in Germany. You think they’ll have lots of beer there?


4 posted on 02/11/2013 12:22:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“The Washington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren cited a theological expert in explaining, “Most modern popes have felt that resignation is unacceptable except in cases of an incurable or debilitating disease”

Debi has no idea what she is talking about as usual. He stated his health is causing him not to be able to do his job. How does she know he may have an incurable or debilitating disease.


5 posted on 02/11/2013 12:23:35 PM PST by edcoil (Manage your own lawsuit: www.jurisdictionary.com?refercode=KK0012)
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To: SkyDancer

RE: I thought they were supposed to be celibate or something like that.

The key words are “supposed to be”.


6 posted on 02/11/2013 12:23:48 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Making room for cardinal law...

(joke, but if it turns out to be true, still a joke.)


7 posted on 02/11/2013 12:30:44 PM PST by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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To: Triple

Maybe cardinal number will be the next Pope.


8 posted on 02/11/2013 12:35:48 PM PST by 1raider1
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To: SeekAndFind

In the Roman Catholic Church, a “dogma” is an article of faith revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church presents as necessary to be believed.

I’d hardly say that remaining pope until death is “dogma.”


9 posted on 02/11/2013 12:36:09 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Universal Background Check -> Registration -> Confiscation -> Oppression -> Externination)
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To: SeekAndFind

Actually celibacy was not a requirement for priests in the first few centuries of the Church’s existence (though I’m fairly certain it was by the 11th. Century).

Even today you have priests who decide to leave the priesthood because they’ve met a woman and wish to marry. A young assistant pastor from the Parish I attended did this about 20 years ago.

Personally I found nothing dishonorable in his decision, as clearly he had decided he could not hack celibacy and decided to proceed in a morally correct manner.


10 posted on 02/11/2013 12:36:20 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

RE: Actually celibacy was not a requirement for priests in the first few centuries of the Church’s existence (though I’m fairly certain it was by the 11th. Century).

You are absolutely right.

St. Peter had a mother in law whom Jesus healed.

See here:

Matthew 8:14:

“And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever; 15 he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him.”

Pope Clement I wrote: “For Peter and Philip begat children”.

St. Patrick’s grandfather, Potitus, was a priest.

There is record of a number of 3rd-century married bishops in good standing, even in the West. They included: Passivus, bishop of Fermo; Cassius, bishop of Narni; Aetherius, bishop of Vienne; Aquilinus, bishop of Évreux; Faron, bishop of Meaux; Magnus, bishop of Avignon. Filibaud, bishop of Aire-sur-l’Adour, was the father of St. Philibert de Jumièges, and Sigilaicus, bishop of Tours, was the father of St. Cyran of Brenne


11 posted on 02/11/2013 12:45:32 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SkyDancer

It used to be you didn’t have to be a priest to be a bishop or pope. In the Roman Catholic Church, priests have always been celibate, unless they were married before they were ordained (like Saint Peter). They understood the Lord Himself required that. If a married man has been ordained in another denomination and then converts, however, he can remain married and become a priest, provided he remains married to the same woman and upon her death remains celibate. There are quite a number of former Protestants who have become priests and remained married.


12 posted on 02/11/2013 12:48:34 PM PST by Missouri gal
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To: SeekAndFind

This can’t be true because it reeks of corruption in the catholic church a LONG time ago. We all know corruption tends to get worse until an institution collapses from the weight thereof (like the United States) and almost NEVER gets better. Thus, it can’t be true.


13 posted on 02/11/2013 12:50:46 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

RE: We all know corruption tends to get worse until an institution collapses from the weight thereof (like the United States) and almost NEVER gets better. Thus, it can’t be true.

“... The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” — Jesus Christ (To Peter and the other disciples)


14 posted on 02/11/2013 12:56:22 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Max Fisher...Washington Post...not worth the read.


15 posted on 02/11/2013 1:18:29 PM PST by kenmcg (scapegoat)
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To: SeekAndFind

Celibacy wasn’t mandatory util 1139.


16 posted on 02/11/2013 1:21:02 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

You have reform and reformers throughout Church history. St. Francis Assisi for example..


17 posted on 02/11/2013 1:23:53 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

1961...The Chaplain at my All Girl Catholic High School left and married one of the nuns.


18 posted on 02/11/2013 1:24:23 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind
Knowing German monasteries they probably make beer there.

CC

19 posted on 02/11/2013 1:39:45 PM PST by Celtic Conservative
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To: SeekAndFind

These days having two Popes at the same time would be an NBC sitcom.


20 posted on 02/11/2013 1:46:39 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: kenmcg

This is a historical piece, not an opinion piece. And quite interesting to boot.


21 posted on 02/11/2013 1:56:01 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: SkyDancer
If a cleric is laicized, his vow of celibacy is dissolved. Even today a priest who wants to get married, can request laicization.

I don't know that a bishop has been laicized to get married, though. Not in my lifetime, I think.

22 posted on 02/11/2013 3:23:23 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Actually, German Benedictines are famous for their beer. They are -— or used to be -— among the finest brewers in Europe.


23 posted on 02/11/2013 3:24:48 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
The Church also gets rejuvenated by periodic reform movements, though. One of the great reforming popes, Gregory VII of the 11th century, is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, which pitted him against Emperor Henry IV and strove to remove bishops (as far as possible), from entanglement with princes and kings.

The so-called "Counter-Reformation" Popes were actually reforming popes: they psueh for internal Church purification.

"Ecclesia semper reformanda." -
"The Church is always to be reformed."

24 posted on 02/11/2013 3:34:13 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.)
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To: kenmcg

My brother posted this on another site and after trying for awhile to show him how secular and biased the article was, I gave up.


25 posted on 02/11/2013 8:37:51 PM PST by Mercat (Never laugh at live dragons)
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