Skip to comments.Media say Pope may resign in April
Posted on 09/27/2011 10:58:47 AM PDT by NYer
There is one front page news story that will certainly not go unnoticed: that is, that the Pope is thinking about resigning during the Spring of 2012. Journalist Antonio Socci has confirmed the same in the Italian daily, Libero.
"For now, Socci writes, he is saying that this may be true (Joseph Ratzingers personal assumption), but I hope the story does not reach the news. But this rumor is circulating high up in the Vatican and therefore deserves close attention. The Pope has not rejected the possibility of his resignation when he turns 85 in April next year.
Socci recalls that the assumption he will resign, without any hitches, was the same thing Ratzinger talked about in an interview in the book Luce del mondo (Light of the World), when, in response to a question by interviewer Peter Seewald, he 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, even the duty to resign. Furthermore, in another passage, Benedict XVI wondered if he would be able to withstand it all, just from the physical point of view.
Socci makes the following observation in todays edition of Libero: Today, Pope Benedict seems to be in really good form; just the same, theres the issue of his age and just how much energy he has left. But the writer/journalist also recalls another passage from the same book interview, which has to do with the attacks and controversies related to the pedophile priests' scandal: When there is a great menace, one cannot simply run away from it. That is why, right now, it is definitely not the time to resign.
It is actually at moments like these that one needs to resist and overcome difficult situations. One can only resign at a time when things are calm, or simply, when nothing more can be done about it. But one cannot run away right when the threat is alive and say, Let somebody else take care of it.
The issue of papal resignations has been the subject of debate for many decades. Pope Pius XII had prepared a letter in which he stated he would resign if he were taken away by the Nazis (In that way, they will have Cardinal Pacelli, but not the Pope.)
Pope John XXIII, while talking with his confessor, had taken into consideration that he would possibly have to leave when his illness worsened. Even Pope Paul VI, who had established the exclusion of those who were over 80 from the conclave, and renunciation of the episcopal seat at the age of 75, seriously thought about resigning in 1977, when he turned 80, but his entourage dissuaded him from going ahead with this. This issue came up again, in a dramatic fashion, with Pope John Paul Ils long illness; he had even prepared a letter of resignation.
Anyone who knows Ratzinger would confirm that the answer he gave to Seewald, is what he feels would be best, in the event of him becoming physically, mentally, or psychologically incapacitated. However, such a possibility seems, at the moment, somewhat remote. In fact, one is immediately struck by the contrast between the front page story in Libero and the images coming from Germany, where Benedict XVI is concluding an historic trip, during which he made 18 speeches in four days. Many of these put him under considerable pressure, especially as they were entirely written by him. The German press was astonished at the old Pontiffs endurance, which he demonstrated by the fact that he was able to manage all the exhaustion from moving around; he did not sleep more than one night in a single bed. And he was successful in carrying out a packed schedule of engagements, meetings, vigils, and celebrations.
This would show that nothing of what Benedict XVI himself said in answer to his alleged plans to resign, seems to be materialising.
Finally, a total media distortion caused an outburst of fear after explosive gunshots were heard yesterday in Erfurt. They were fired by an unbalanced youth with an air gun, who targeted two security guards, without wounding them, on a street just 500 meters from where the Pope was to celebrate mass, two hours before Ratzinger arrived. False alarms that were blown out of proportion by the media, were also raised when Pope John Paul II visited Mexico City in 2002, and a year ago, when Pope Ratzinger was in England.
I hope and pray this is just a rumor!
Popes don’t resign. They die.
I thought the Pope was supposed to die in office...never heard on any resignation? How does the Pope who is renowned to be infallible, resign from being God on earth? Does he become fallible after that?
This raises so many questions to me...
Me too! Amen!
I would think that any pope who resigned simply because of reaching a certain age would be setting a precedent which future popes would have a hard time ignoring. Resigning because of incapacity to carry out the duties of the office would be a different matter.
Pope Celestine V resigned because he didn’t think that he was suited for the office. Dante put him in hell as a result, but he was later canonized. (Dante has not been canonized...but he does have a very nice tomb in Ravenna.) Gregory XII resigned to help end the Great Schism (there were two other men claiming to be pope but he is generally regarded now as the rightful pope...but people at the time couldn’t figure out which was the true pope).
or something like that.
In 1595 Saint Malachy wrote a prophecy describing, quite accurately, each future pope to come. The final Pope on the list is the one following Pope Benedict.
Pope Celestine V
Been discredited so many times it's not even worth a new thread.
Unless he has some horrible illness, I don’t see this happening. I pray that is not the case, and this is just a rumor.
Assume that the Pope decides to resign because he feels that his faculties/strength/ability are beginning to ebb, and he wants to exit on his own terms, while still reasonably capable. The BIG question is how effective he could be in helping to choose his successor. College of Cardinals is an interesting place at election time..
There have been a handful of resignations and retirements in the last 2000 years, most famously Pope Celestine V , who retired to become a hermit, and is a canonized saint. Oh, and Pope Gregory XII (14061415), who retired to end the Western Schism.
No problem with the infallibility thing, which is not a "personal characteristic" of a Pope. It is a characteristic of the Church. It exercised by the Pope himself, only when he is, in very rare and formally limited circumstances, defining a doctrine on faith or morals in the name of the Church.
I hear that before NYER somebody post over the weekend about Pope retiring next April I think just rumor right now
Can Pope retired I know they could be overthrown that the series Borgias told me LOL!
Ping for later.
So, what has been discredited, that it was published in 1595 or that it correlates with 112 successive Popes?
The Pope is only "infallible" on certain issues. He can make mistakes:
"Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies."
The Pope is not God on earth.
"The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church (which is composed of the Latin Rite and the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the see of Rome). In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle.
The office of the pope is known as the Papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the "Holy See" or the "Apostolic See" based upon the Church tradition that the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul were martyred in Rome."
They said the same thing about JPII. These are wishful thinking articles on the part of the anti-Catholic media.
Sarah Palin will be the next pope.
I don't have time to look up the links now but the early papal prophecies in the series are thought to be authentic, written either by St. Malachy or sincerely on his behalf. But the later prophecies, written in a very different style, are forgeries added along the way, many about popes who were already deceased.
Popes are not personally infallible, only in exercise in of their office, and they certainly aren't G-d on earth. Are you a reporter from Toronto?
The pope a quitter????
Oh....say it ain't so!!!
That would make the pope like a certain governor who "resigned" (or quit as the haters like to say).
Rumors of AntiChrist being next pope to start in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
Of course, if the 'prophecy' was actually composed in the 16th century, it makes sense that all the descriptions of the popes between the 1100s and 1590 would be accurate. And those descriptions are not only more accurate, they all focus on such verifiable matters as the pope's coat of arms, family, or birthplace.
The second problem is that the later "descriptions" (unlike the ones before 1590) are so short (just 2-3 words) and vague that you can read pretty much anything into them that you want. Most of them are a real, serious stretch, and a couple are so cryptic that interpreters don't even try and leave them blank.
The third problem is that even the manuscript doesn't claim to list ALL the popes - just a bunch of them, and then the last one, "Peter the Roman". Which corresponds nicely to the first pope . . . Peter.
As Cecil Adams commented about Nostradamus, I think this one does for B.S. what Stonehenge did for rocks.
I was thinking of same thing too LOL!
The Pope is not infallible. Only the Sacraments are. Per my Pastor and KOC Chaplain.
Now you are just blowing smoke...
Good point. However, in contemporary times, we find people live longer and the pope, thanks to modern transportation, has a much more strenuous workload than the majority of his predecessors who rarely traveled beyond Italy.
There is a recent precedent, though on a different level. The Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, Nasrallah Cardinal Sfeir, submitted his resignation in January of this year at the age of 90. He and Pope Benedict were good friends and, like Ratzinger, Sfeir was in good health with all of his faculties. When Pope Benedict traveled to Australia, Sfeir accompanied him there to meet with his Maronite community. I was amazed to see Sfeir at age 87, bound down the ship's access way and greet the crowd waiting to welcome him.
In his letter of acceptance, Pope Benedict noted Cardinal Sfeir's service to the Catholic Church.
You could celebrate last year's sixty years of your priesthood: proof of loyalty and love for Jesus Christ, the High Priest. In July, you will again have the opportunity to raise a thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity for the completion of fifty years as bishop.
For nearly twenty-five years, you worked with your two predecessors in the See of Antioch before being chosen by the Synod to succeed them April 19, 1986: a turning point that puts you on the threshold of your Silver Jubilee in this office. Full Text.
A synod was convened and bishops from around the world arrived in Bkerke, Lebanon to elect a successor to Sfeir. They chose Bechara Boutros al-Rahi. At 71, he was elected Patriarch of the Maronites on 15 March 2011, after getting more than two-thirds of the votes of the 39 bishops and replacing Nasrallah Sfeir. The Mass for the inauguration of his patriarchate took place on 25 March 2011, in Bkerké, the see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate. As is customary for all Maronite patriarchs Rahi took the additional name Boutros, that of Saint Peter, who briefly held the See of Antioch before moving to Rome to become bishop there.
I am not Catholic and I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, but I have wondered what happens if a Pope gets a disease such as Alzheimer’s.
Can a Pope be removed from office due to a medical condition that prevents him from doing his duties?
Ping to my #32 for an interesting perspective.
Admittedly, I am a prepper and I have an interest in events that would change our way of life "as we know it" but I hardly dwell on "end times" scenarios. There's not a lot of preparation for that. I've really never done much reading about the Mayan calendar thing or the prophecy of the Popes as I only put my faith in the Bible so criticize them all you want. I take no stock in them.
What makes you think I would ignore criticism? I might just join you in your criticism of these extra-Biblical prophecy. I just find them curious but not really important enough to spend much time researching the validity of. I think you are a little quick to categorize me.
From the outside looking in, one might presume the papal office as one of power in which an ailing pontiff might need to be removed. As I commented on an earlier post, people today are living longer and traveling more. The pope has a physician who counsels him on his health. A pope perceives his position as one of "servant of God", not ruler. When a servant is ill or incapacitated, he does what is in the best interest of the flock.
We were privileged to witness this with Pope John Paull II. When he became pope in 1978, John Paul II was still an avid sportsman. At the time, the 58-year old was extremely healthy and active, jogging in the Vatican gardens, weight training, swimming, and hiking in the mountains. His health began to fail after an assassination attempt on his life. He also developed Parkinson's disease. None of these challenged his mental faculties, even though the media constantly raised questions similar to yours.
For us, as catholics, it was agonizing to watch him deteriorate but we recognized this as his personal witness to God's gift of life. Even on his journey towards death, he continued to instruct us on the value of life.
I have no doubt that a pope who believes he can no longer perform the responsibilities of his elected office, will make the right decision, even if it entails reisgning (see my post #32).
But if he really is incapacitated, most of his work would be done by the assistants he had chosen, as was the case in John Paul II's declining years, when he was quite disabled.
Peter the Roman will follow. He’ll be the last Pope. He’ll be the one to take the Church through the persecution. That is, if you believe St. Malachy.
Both these two seem to follow on Socci's article in Il Libero, La tentazione: se il Papa pensa alle dimissioni (teaser at the link).
The blog entries both talk about the intense pressures that are on the Holy Father. The first also resurfaces the hypothetical discussion attributed to him in Light of the World. It seems that the whole issue revolves around some comments made recently by his brother, Georg, who mentioned this passage from Seewald's interview.
The Holy Spirit will continue to protect Pope Benedict XVI.
Let us offer our prayers.
the pope is the very essence of fallible. Only God can be perfect, and blameless and not deceive.
I’m sure the libs would love this! They can’t stand the man!
It's not a claim that he's either "perfect" or "blameless". He goes to confession quite regularly (the last Pope confessed his sins weekly; I assume this one does as well), so he knows very well that he's a sinner in need of God's grace like the rest of us.
He can't "be removed" by any human authority, though his advisors would probably try to encourage him to consider resignation under those circumstances.
The Church can limp along for awhile without a functioning Pope if she has to. Crises don't get attended to, and bishops aren't appointed to fill vacant sees, but everything else continues to function.
“For us, as catholics, it was agonizing to watch him deteriorate but we recognized this as his personal witness to God’s gift of life. Even on his journey towards death, he continued to instruct us on the value of life.
I have no doubt that a pope who believes he can no longer perform the responsibilities of his elected office, will make the right decision, even if it entails reisgning (see my post #32).”
I very much agree with this...and hope that we are all praying regularly for the Pope.
“It’s not a claim that he’s either “perfect” or “blameless”. He goes to confession quite regularly (the last Pope confessed his sins weekly; I assume this one does as well), so he knows very well that he’s a sinner in need of God’s grace like the rest of us.”
Both of these popes have been excellent examples in this regard for the rest of us. May God inspire all of our bishops to do likewise.
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