Pope Ratzinger gave Roman Catholics quite a surprise Monday morning. It is estimated there are over one Billion Catholics around the world, and when they wake they will find out their Pope is the first Pope in over 600 years to step down from the highest position in the Catholic Church. Saying his health is too ill to continue, one must note Pope John Paul, who came before Ratzinger, was also in ill health, but chose to stay to the end of his life in pain, but never in spirit.
John Paul was well loved by people of all faiths for his love of all people, and reaching out in the name of peace, and helping the poor. Pope Ratzinger, a religious scolar who is more insular and known as an intellectual, is not as open to the outside world, therefore, not as known, other than he wears Gucci shoes, and a varacious reader. He was also the only person who held the papers of the investigation of priests who were investigated or quietly found guity of child molastation. As most of us know by now, the Church tried to keep quiet its dirty laundry. Recently, more information on whom had records on these cases just surfaced, and most of the findings pointed to the current Pope as the person with most of the files on these priets, which leave some people more than skeptical as to the timing of his resignation. That said, the Pope is pontificating about his health, and I am enclosing an official letter from the Vatican I received this morning.
Please post your opinions in the comment section. We would all like to hear your thoughts on this monumental decision.
(FROM THE VATICAN)
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 bark 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
BENEDICTUS PP XVI