Religion has been a huge part of our society for a long time now, and although a lot of things have changed over the past decades with the type of religion that continues to emerge, there are still individuals who impact certain religious groups.
The pope certainly is an influential individual especially to the billions of Roman Catholics that recognize him as a leader. The decision that Pope Benedict XVI made on Monday Feb.11 to step down as the Pope, will undoubtedly impact a lot of people, before the new Pope is sworn in at the end of March.
Pope Benedict XVI will remain Pope until Feb. 28 when he will officially resign. Pope Benedict had already became the oldest person in 300 years to be elected Pope when he was 78, now at age 85 he mentioned that it is his health that is the main purpose of him resigning. Pope Benedict will be the first pope to actually resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 according to the Huffington Post.
“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,” Pope Benedict stated in a meeting with the Vatican Cardinals.
He also went on to mention that he understands that the ministry must be carried out not only by words and deeds but with prayer suffering. “I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by 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 St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths 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,” Pope Benedict XVI announced during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.
The speculation of who should be the new pope have already started circulating widely throughout Europe, some experts say that the new pope should not be as “Straight from the book” as Benedict was.
“I believe people want somebody who can carry this idea of new evangelization, relighting the missionary fires of the church and actually make it work, not just lay it out in theory,” John L. Allen, a Vatican expert at the National Catholic Reporter said.
There are a few names being tossed around as to who should be the pope successor, names include archbishop of Milan who is seen as the strongest Italian contender. Along with him is also Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a theologian and a Canadian, is widely seen as the favorite choice. Marc was handpicked by Pope Benedict to head the Vatican’s influential Congregation for Bishops to help select bishops around the world according to NY Times.
Other contenders include Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, and the archbishop of Vienna.
Although there are only a few weeks left until the pope resigns, the process to elect his successor is well underway.
Not only was it a shock for Catholics to have their Pope resign, lightning strikes the basilica of St.Peter’s dome during a storm, the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. The picture of Lightening striking the St. Peter’s dome quickly spread on the Internet and soon became a topic of Interest. Many took the event as the ‘Sign from the Heavens.’
Lightning strikes St Peter’s Basilica as Pope resigns
Within hours of Pope Benedict announcing his resignation, lightning struck St Peter’s Basilica.
Announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation
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.
Pope Benedict XVI Resignation Inside Joseph Ratzinger’s Decision to Step Down
Pope Benedict’s Resignation
Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Richard J. Malone, speaks to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and our prayers for lent.