Shocking news from the Vatican; the Pope is about to resign. According to CTV News published today, even the cardinals were surprised. CTV News report that the Pope will resign at the end of February due to his age and his failing health. The Pope’s speech which was translated from Latin reads, “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."
CTV News goes on to say, “The voluntary decision marks the first time in 600 years that a Pope willingly resigned from his post. The last Pope to do so was, “Pope Gregory XII, in 1415. Gregory stepped down to deal with the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants. Prior to that, Pope Benedict IX resigned from the post in 1045.”
The cardinals will have to elect a new pope in March. The speculations for the new Pope are: “Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and the Canadian head of the Vatican's office for bishops. They are the top candidates so far.
According to CTV news, the present Pope spent all his life serving in the Catholic Church. He served in the Hitler youth movement because he had to. He had no use for Nazi ideals. “As a young man, he was eventually conscripted into the German military in 1943. He later deserted and became a prisoner of war in the custody of the Americans.” When the Second World War was over, he returned to Germany in 1953, studied then became a priest.
Biography.com writes, “In 1972, Ratzinger helped found the theological journal “Communio” which became one of the most important journals of Catholic thought.” Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict IX on April 19, 2005. According to Biography.com, “Known for his rigid views on Catholicism, he has sought a more inclusive image as pope. In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to the United States, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and delivered an address at the United Nations. That same year, to foster relations and understanding between religions, Benedict addressed the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day conference of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.”
The Catholic News Service reports spokesperson, Father Lombardi said, “After the pope steps down, he will move to the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. He will stay there until the renovation is completed of a cloister, set up by Blessed John Paul II, which is located inside the Vatican Gardens. The pope will then live in the cloister, called the Mater Ecclesia monastery, and dedicate his time to prayer and reflection.”