Skip to comments.Historian Notes Precedents for Papal Resignation
Posted on 02/12/2013 7:13:32 AM PST by marshmallow
Benedict XVI Not the First Pope to Step Down From See of Peter
Though it hasn't happened in about 600 years, there is precedent for a papal resignation. And the Church has the resources and the experience of history to know what to do now.
This is the affirmation of Donald Prudlo, associate professor of History at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, who spoke with Vatican Radio today about Benedict XVI's shocking announcement that he is resigning.
With this news, the Pope joins at least four of his predecessors from history who have also stepped down from the See of Peter.
The historian told the Radio that the last pope to step down was Gregory XII, who did so in 1415 in order to end the Great Western Schism. However, Prudlo observed, the possibility of a papal resignation was confirmed even before that, when at the end of the 13th century, Celestine V resigned after finding himself unfit for the job.
"At the end of the 13th century, a very holy hermit named Peter was elected as Pope Celestine V in order to break a deadlock in the conclave that had lasted nearly three years. He was elected because of his personal holiness, sort of a unity candidate. And once he got there, being a hermit, not used to the ways of the Roman Curia, he found himself somewhat unsuited to the task, that it wasn't just holiness but also some shrewdness and prudence that was also required. So within six months he knew that he was really unequal to the task, and so he gathered the cardinals together in a consistory, just as was recently done, a couple hours ago, and he announced to the cardinals his intention to resign," Prudlo explained to Vatican Radio. "Because of the pope's position.....
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I hope the new Pope keeps the Vatican Observatory active. Seeking God in the universe helps others find Him too in their lives. The VO does this, religiously.
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