St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Resignation of Pope Benedict the XVI

Resignation of Pope Benedict the XVI

Since this issue has been handed out in different ways, we thought useful to share with you three things: First, tips of general information about this; second, the full text of the Pope's announcement of resignation; finally, his words at the General Audience last Wednesday.

1. Tips of general information - The resignation of a Roman Pontiff is contemplated in the Canon Law (Can. 332 2). - It had already happened three times in History. - The pope, after his resignation, will live in a convent in the Vatican. He will continue being a Bishop. - After his resignation, another pope will be elected by the Cardinals.

2. Full text of Pope's declaration
(2013-02-11 Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.

Full text of Pope's declaration

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. 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. However, in today'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 barque 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. 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. From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

3. The words of the Holy Father on Ash Wednesday
(2013-02-13 Vatican Radio) Even though only 3500 tickets had been distributed for this Wednesday's general audience, thousands more flocked to the Paul VI hall hoping to gain access for Pope Benedict XVI's penultimate audience with pilgrims. As soon as the Holy Father emerged onto the stage from the side door the crowds erupted in greeting. "Dear brothers and sisters, as you know I decided", he began only to be interrupted with prolonged applause. "Thank you for your kindness" he responded and began again. "I decided to resign from the ministry that the Lord had entrusted me on April 19, 2005. I did this in full freedom" the Pope added forcefully, "for the good of the Church after having prayed at length and examined my conscience before God, well aware of the gravity of this act". But, continued Pope Benedict, "I was also well aware that I was no longer able to fulfill the Petrine Ministry with that strength that it demands. What sustains and illuminates me is the certainty that the Church belongs to Christ whose care and guidance will never be lacking. I thank you all for the love and prayer with which you have accompanied me". Again the Pope was interrupted by lengthy applause, and visibly moved he continued: "I have felt, almost physically, your prayers in these days which are not easy for me, the strength which the love of the Church and your prayers brings to me. Continue to pray for me and for the future Pope, the Lord will guide us!"

Lenten Facts.did you know?
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls on a different date each year. But what determines the date of Ash Wednesday? Two things determine the date of Ash Wednesday. The first is the date of Easter. The second is the length of Lent. While Lent is 40 days, Sundays are not included in the count. There are six Sundays that fall within the 40 days of Lent, so Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls 46 days before Easter every year. Now Easter is a moveable feast it does not occur on the same date every year. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (spring) equinox. We know that Easter must always occur on a Sunday, because Sunday was the day of Christ's Resurrection. But why the paschal full moon? Because that was the date of Passover in the Jewish calendar, and the Last Supper occurred on the Passover. Therefore, Easter was the Sunday after Passover. The Church does not use the exact date of the paschal full moon but an approximation, because the paschal full moon can fall on different days in different time zones, which would mean that the date of Easter would be different depending on which time zone you live in. For calculation purposes, the full moon is always set at the 14th day of the lunar month (the lunar month begins with the new moon). Likewise, the Church sets the date of the vernal equinox at March 21, even though it can occur on March 20. Both approximations allow the Church to set a universal date for Easter. -P. F.