Vatican City, Feb 11, 2013 / 04:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign from his duties as Pope on February 28th, 2013.
The full text of the Pope's announcement follows. Please revist this page for more details. A press conference will be held in minutes at the Vatican press office.
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
Statement by Bishop James D. Conley on the resignation of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI
February 11, 2013
This morning I join with the Church in gratitude for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, and I pray for the Holy Spirit’s continued guidance for the Church in the weeks and months ahead. During the 10 years I served in Rome as an official in the Holy See, I had the privilege of meeting Pope Benedict on numerous occasions, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as the Supreme Pontiff. He appointed me a bishop in 2008 and last year named me the ninth bishop of Lincoln. He is a man I have long admired and respected.
Pope Benedict is a scholar, a teacher, a shepherd and, most importantly, a witness to the presence of Jesus Christ in the world. His fidelity to Christ and His Church is abundantly manifested in his love for the poor, for families, and for youth and students. Pope Benedict is known for his deep prayerfulness, his love for the sacred liturgy, and the study of sacred Scripture. He is erudite, eloquent, and self-giving. His steadfast leadership and prophetic witness as the chief shepherd will be deeply missed. As we look now to the Church’s future, I ask you to join me in commending the election of a new pope to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.