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U.S. Politicians React to Pope's Retirement (2241)

They express surprise at the news and thanksgiving for the Holy Father’s leadership and accomplishments.

02/12/2013 Comments (3)
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama.

– Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON — Political leaders in the United States offered their prayers and respect upon learning of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire at the end of the month. 

“On behalf of Americans everywhere,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in a Feb. 11 statement, “Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.”

“Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years,” the president said.

“The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world,” he added, “and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict...READ MORE

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Benedict’s Last Papal Mass Will Be on Ash Wednesday in St. Peter's (2487)

The celebration has been moved from Santa Sabina Church to accommodate the crowd of the faithful who wish to be present with the Pope. Other highlights of the Holy Father's schedule prior to retirement are announced as well.

02/12/2013 Comments (1)
Anne Hartney/CNA

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in October 2012.

– Anne Hartney/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Amid the buzz created by Pope’s Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will retire, it could be easy to miss the fact that his last public Mass as Pope will be on Ash Wednesday and not in the normal location for the first day of Lent.

“It’s very clear that St. Peter’s is a much bigger church than Santa Sabina in Aventino, so, for a celebration in which we expect there will be a lot of faithful, bishops and cardinals who wish to be present to pray together with the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica was chosen spontaneously,” Father Federico Lombardi told Catholic News Agency Feb. 12.

“It’s a natural motive of space, and it’s also necessary to bear in mind that this will probably...READ MORE

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Why We Need the Gift of Wisdom (7899)

Commentary: Part 2 of a Register series on the gifts of Holy Spirit.

02/12/2013 Comments (5)
Wikipedia

Icon of 'Sophia' (Wisdom) from St. George Church in Vologda, Russia

– Wikipedia

Isaiah says of the Anointed One, “the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2-3).

Wisdom is the first and greatest gift of the Holy Spirit in confirmation, because it perfects faith by bringing it to fruition in concrete acts of love. Wisdom, of course, is highly valued throughout the Old Testament. Indeed, there is an entire genre of literature in the Old Testament known as “Wisdom literature,” which includes such books as Proverbs, the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and (surprise!) Wisdom.

The Old...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, gifts of the holy spirit, old testament, wisdom

U.S. Bishops Express Gratitude for Pope’s Leadership (2776)

Stunned Church leaders extoll a spiritual father and courageous defender of faith and request prayers as the Church prepares to elect his successor.

02/12/2013 Comments (2)
CNA File photo

– CNA File photo

WASHINGTON — “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,” stated Pope Benedict XVI in a Feb. 11 announcement that stunned the globe’s 1 billion Catholics.

Not least among those dumbfounded by the news were the U.S. bishops, some of whom were appointed by the octogenarian Pope. But while the news of the Holy Father’s imminent resignation provoked surprise and sadness, they also expressed their gratitude for Pope Benedict’s leadership during a tumultuous era  and declined to speculate about the reasons for his decision.

Cardinal...READ MORE

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Pope Benedict’s Prayerful Decision to Resign (3608)

Waning strength of mind and body led to his decision, which the papal spokesman said reflected ‘great courage.’

02/12/2013 Comments (1)
Remo Cassili/Sovereign Order of Malta Press Office via Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI listens to a declaration from the Knights of Malta at ceremonies marking the organization's 900th anniversary.

– Remo Cassili/Sovereign Order of Malta Press Office via Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — During the course of his nearly eight-year pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has sometimes been labeled  the “Pope of Surprises” on account of his academic brilliance and unpredictability, but few seriously imagined this.

News of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation — which was declared formally in a written statement dated Feb. 10 — filtered through the Italian news agency ANSA at around 10:30am Rome time Feb. 11 and was initially met with widespread disbelief, even by those closest to him.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed a couple of hours later during a packed and somber press conference that the Pope would indeed be leaving his ministry as Bishop of Rome...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, papacy, pope benedict xvi, pope celestine v, pope gregory xii

Benedict XVI Plans Life of Prayer at Vatican Monastery After Retirement (5969)

After Pope Benedict XVI retires at the end of February, he will dedicate himself to a life of prayer and study in a Vatican-based monastery.

02/12/2013 Comments (15)
Wikipedia

Vatican's Mater Ecclesiae convent

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — After Pope Benedict XVI retires at the end of February, he will dedicate himself to a life of prayer and study in a Vatican-based monastery.

The Pope, who announced today he will step down on Feb. 28, will first stay in Castel Gandolfo, before eventually going back to the Vatican to live in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.

The monastery is currently being renovated, but it is normally inhabited by a group of nuns who pray for the ministry of the Pope, a mission Pope John Paul II gave to them.

“He will be dedicating himself to prayer and reflection,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, during an unexpected Feb. 11 media event at the Holy See Press Office.

“The...READ MORE

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Weigel on Papa Bene's Long Life, Scotch Whisky is the Extraordinary Form of Alcohol and More! (3854)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/12/2013 Comment

George Weigel on Pope Benedict XVI: Realities of World Where People Live Much Longer. Follow the link via Matthew Schmitz to read more.

George Weigel on Pope Benedict XVI: Realities of World Where People Live Much Longer via Matthew Schmitz – Big Pulpit

Scotch Whisky is the “Extraordinary Form” of Alcohol – Whiskey Catholic

Church Militant: Forward March! – Jay Boyd PhD, Catholic Stand

An Execution Concentrates the Mind – Fr. George W. Rutler, Crisis Magazine

My Sisters the Saints, A Book Review – Sarah Babbs, Ignitum Today

Nine Centuries of Chivalry – Tracey Rowland, The Catholic Thing

Love Creates Us, or Why People Allow Abortion in the Case of Rape – Marc Barnes, Patheos/Bad Catholic

Legislation Creating ”Same-Sex” Marriage: What’s at Stake? – Francis Cardinal George OMI, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

...READ MORE

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Pope Benedict XVI’s Papacy, 2005-2013 (2417)

A timeline recapping highlights of his papacy.

02/11/2013 Comments (5)
World Meeting of Families 2012/CNA

– World Meeting of Families 2012/CNA

 2013

Feb. 28: Date of resignation.

Feb. 11: Announced resignation.

Fourth encyclical, on faith, was expected to be published this year.

 

2012

Dec. 12: Twitter debut @Pontifex.

Nov. 24: Consistory created Milwaukee native Archbishop James Harvey a cardinal and five other non-European cardinals.

Nov. 20: Releases third volume of Jesus of Nazareth.

Oct. 28 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization held.

Oct. 21: Canonizes Americans Sts. Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope.

Oct. 11: Year of Faith begins; 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 50th anniversary of start of Vatican II.

Oct. 7: Declares two new doctors of the...READ MORE

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