Catholic Church | News | Pope Benedict | Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI Resigning February 28


Pope Benedict will step down February 28, the Vatican has confirmed. The resignation took the Vatican by surprise, as it is the first time in six centuries (not since 1415) that a Pope has resigned.

The full text of his resignation and see an ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP....

PopeReuters reports:

The 85-year-old pope said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months "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," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.

His attacks on gay marriage and gay families will not be missed. The office will be vacant until a successor is chosen.

The Pope has said in recent months that gays "[manipulate] their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices — and [destroy] the very 'essence of the human creature' in the process". Benedict said in December that gay marriage offends human truth, and threatens justice and peace.

He also blessed the lawmaker behind Uganda's "kill the gays" bill.

Last September he called gay marriages "defective" and called on U.S. Bishops last March to defend against the passage of marriage equality laws.

Though, he's not against the occasional male strip show:


Continuing, he has said in November 2010 "sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual," a follow-up to a September 2010 attack in which he said that marriage equality laws "contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law" and to "confusion about society’s values."

In June of 2010 an unauthorized painting depicting Benedict marrying two men went on display in London:


It was shortly after he begged forgiveness from God for the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal that he helped cover up.

In May 2010 he called gay marriage "dangerous" and "insidious". A few months earlier he said "In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed.”

Gays endanger humanity, he said in January 2010, right after embracing an anti-gay Holocaust denier.

In December 2008 Pope Benedict said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

In 2007, he called gay marriage an obstacle to world peace. These statements were "non-negotiable" he told Catholic lawmakers, politicians, and those in power.

At Christmas in 2006, the Pope "warned that mankind would destroy its own identity should it follow theories which place same-sex couples at the same level as husband and wife." He added that supporting same-sex marriage "tacitly accredits those dismal theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue."

The full text of his resignation and see an ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP....

"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 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."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. OK, who took the revealing photos?

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Feb 11, 2013 6:32:44 AM

  2. Ratzinger has named 67 of the 120 cardinals who will vote for his successor, pretty much ensuring that his regressive legacy will continue. Also, by resigning he ensures that he can actively lobby for who will succeed him. This is just more bad news for the Catholic Church. They'll pick a relatively young, right wing man to cement a long regressive future for the church. The choice may be from a third world country, as this will make the church look progressive and inclusive. But, believe me, that is cosmetic. Joseph Ratzinger wants a regressive successor.

    Posted by: matt | Feb 11, 2013 6:38:58 AM

  3. I agree with Matt's observation. A regressive Catholic Church, or any organised religion for this matter, will only render itself irrelevant. Religion, however mildly dressed, poisons everything, to borrow a phrase from the late Christopher Hitchens.

    Posted by: czchu | Feb 11, 2013 6:45:16 AM

  4. he'll barely be missed. the miserable Vatican bureaucracy will continue chugging along it's retrogressive path with or without him.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 11, 2013 6:45:32 AM

  5. At last it gets better. Nuthin like good news to start the day. On Feb. 28 he should be given a Peace Prize.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 11, 2013 6:45:58 AM

  6. Immediate speculation:

    a) Some heretofore unknown linkage between the Holy Father and child sex abuse is about to be released, one which would damage the Catholic brand in a way that prior linkages had not.

    b) He's suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia that would result in his cognitive faculties rapidly declining within the next year.

    Posted by: Nat | Feb 11, 2013 6:50:56 AM

  7. Don't let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya! Bye Bye!

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 11, 2013 6:55:44 AM

  8. Tim Minchin describes my thoughts exactly @

    Posted by: CB | Feb 11, 2013 6:59:05 AM

  9. Ratzinger has had a huge influence which extends before and will extend after his papacy. He pretty much ran the vatican during JP 2's papacy. He wrote large parts of john paul's encyclicals and steered the church on a regressive path as "the pope's rotweiller." Then, as pope, ratzinger courted right wing anglicans and opus dei and made peace with ultra right wing catholics of called lefebrists and legionarries of christ; he also banned celibate gay men from ordination and told africans that condoms don't help prevent aids. Now, by resigning, he will heavily influence who succeeds him. He is not one pope: he is, effictively, controlling three papacies and has destroyed the promise of vatican II. he's ruined the church for most caring, thinking catholics. what a shame.

    Posted by: matt | Feb 11, 2013 7:02:13 AM

  10. Something is rotten in the Vatican.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Feb 11, 2013 7:03:27 AM

  11. Neither Ratzinger nor the Vatican addressed charges of incriminating videos with altar boys. Film at 11.

    Posted by: Goebbels | Feb 11, 2013 7:06:14 AM

  12. WTF? Any fool can 'suffer' when he's strong. It takes REAL strength to suffer when you're weak. What a pink-panty wearin' hypocrite ol' Ratzi turned out to be.

    And who elected Montgomery Burns pope anyway?

    Posted by: Pope on a Rope | Feb 11, 2013 7:13:09 AM

  13. I have no interest in the machinations of cults.

    Posted by: Betty Treacle | Feb 11, 2013 7:13:42 AM

  14. Reaction: Mild disappointment. Was hoping to see him go out like Quadaffi did, with the business end of a bayonet up his butt. But we must find joy where we can.

    Posted by: Pope Beenadick | Feb 11, 2013 7:16:37 AM

  15. According to the prophecy of Saint Malachy, the next pope will be the LAST and Rome (meaning the RC church) will be destroyed. Sic semper tyrannis.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Feb 11, 2013 7:25:15 AM

  16. not gone soon enough...

    Posted by: V-8 | Feb 11, 2013 7:38:37 AM

  17. His Boss fired him.

    Posted by: Shane | Feb 11, 2013 7:39:09 AM

  18. Goodbye Nazi pope. NEXT!

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 11, 2013 7:41:03 AM

  19. In a divinely inspired coincidence, I just watched HBO's documentary "Mea Maxiima Culpa" last night (kind of a downer after the Grammy's). It dealt with the Catholic sex abuse scandal in a school for the deaf. It can be accessed via ON-DEMAND on many cable systems. If you want context for issues that are bound to come up in the next few weeks, it's well worth viewing.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Feb 11, 2013 8:01:58 AM

  20. NAT is right. Something is going on, either the Pope is leaving because he knows a scandal is about the break, or he has some type of debilitating disease that will render him incapable of performing his duties. I'm guessing the former. For a pope to resign is almost unheard of.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 11, 2013 8:21:12 AM

  21. Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!

    Posted by: ccbeach | Feb 11, 2013 8:33:45 AM

  22. I was also thinking he was leaving as a compromise on something big that he did wrong. And considering all of the wrongs that he has done and not batted an eyelash, it must have been something juicy. Perhaps he was implicated in a sex abuse case himself or got caught with male prostitutes. Considering the last pope didn't resign despite being 150 years old and seemingly incapable of doing anything I would have to think this guy's claims of poor health are just a smoke screen.

    Posted by: macguffin54 | Feb 11, 2013 8:34:17 AM

  23. THERE IS A GOD!!!! ;)

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Feb 11, 2013 8:34:51 AM

  24. John Paul, Paul John, Maximus the middling, Pius the 202nd -- they are all the same: despots in a reactionary religion preaching piety and practicing hypocrisy. We will see another Elmer Gantry at the wheel in a few months.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Feb 11, 2013 8:43:39 AM

  25. Popes don't resign, not for over 500 years.

    Something is afoot, methinks....

    Posted by: Peter Hargmier | Feb 11, 2013 8:46:10 AM

  26. 1 2 3 »

Post a comment


« «The Two Best Photos of Ellen DeGeneres from the Grammys« «