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A Most Loving and Prudent Move (5083)

Former Swiss Guard Andreas Widmer discusses Benedict’s thoughtful leadership.

03/01/2013 Comments (5)
Andreas Widmer

Andreas Widmer (l) during his Vatican service as a Swiss Guard.

– Andreas Widmer

EDITOR'S NOTE: Register editor in chief Jeanette De Melo interviewed Andreas Widmer March 1 on Register Radio. Listen online.

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to leave his office on Feb. 28 shocked the Catholic world and set off a firestorm of speculation on everything from why he is leaving to who will be his successor.

As the dust storm settles and the mainstream media moves on to other topics, cooler heads with thoughtful observations of what the Pope’s decision means to the Church now and in the future are beginning to emerge. One such thoughtful leader is author Andreas Widmer.

Andreas Widmer served Blessed John Paul II as a young Swiss Guard, and, later, after becoming a...READ MORE

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Why I'm Changing Rites; Sacred Liturgy: Past, Present and Future; Sede Vacante Begins and More! (5082)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/01/2013 Comment

Why I’m Changing Rites. Follow the link by Mindy Goorchenko of the MonkRock blog to read more.

Why I’m Changing Rites by Mindy Goorchenko of the MonkRock blog - Big Pulpit

Sacred Liturgy: Past, Present, and Future – The Catholic World Report

Sede Vacante Begins - Big Pulpit

Ought, and Nature’s Laws – David Bentley Hart, First Things

Do Demons Experience Pleasure? – Fr. Fortea, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Let’s Bring Back the Clerihew! – Karl Keating JD, Catholic Answers

Rock, Paper, Scissors; Vice and Virtue – Patti M. Armstrong, Catholic Stand

Running From Hell: Thoughts on Love and Sin – Pete Jermann, Crisis Magazine

Resignation Questions – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Dr. N. S. Topping Shares How the Catechism can Rebuild a Catholic...READ MORE

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U.S. Leaders Voice Thanks, Support for Pope Emeritus (1901)

Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. sends ‘best wishes’ to Benedict ‘after years of service and dedication to God, the Catholic Church and world peace.’

02/28/2013 Comment

Secretary of State John Kerry.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Catholic American political officials and commentators have solemnly expressed their appreciation and prayers for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as his resignation goes into effect.

“The United States sends its best wishes to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves the Vatican after years of service and dedication to God, the Catholic Church and world peace,” said newly installed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

In a statement released on the eve of the Holy Father’s retirement, Kerry added that he anticipates further cooperation with the Holy See.

“As the papal conclave assembles, I look forward to continuing our important relationship with the Vatican and working...READ MORE

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‘The Barque Is Not Mine’ (3803)

EDITORIAL: Pope in Dialogue with Christ to the End

02/28/2013 Comments (10)
Catholic News Agency

– Catholic News Agency

The world revels in the pomp and spectacle of the papacy, but it’s rare that the soul of the vicar of Christ is laid bare, revealing something of the mystery of the Petrine office and the successor of St. Peter’s close personal bond with God.

Pope Benedict’s last Wednesday audience on Feb. 27 was such a moment. His personal testimony offered us a glimpse into the conscience of a pope, a man who served and revered his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, before his own election in 2005.

Benedict offered his reflections to an estimated crowd of 200,000 people, who feared they might never see him again, even as he promised to “gather up the whole Church in prayer.”

“When, on April 19,...READ MORE

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Swiss Guards Seal Gates, Leave Benedict’s Service (2948)

Now that he has resigned, the Swiss Guards will stand down from active service until the election of a papal successor.

02/28/2013 Comments (4)


CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday evening, the Swiss Guards have left their posts and sealed the gates of the former pope’s temporary residence of Castel Gandolfo.

A crowd of Catholic faithful gathered Feb. 28 outside the papal vacation spot. At 8pm Rome time, a loud bell rang eight times. The crowd shouted Viva il Papa! (“Long live the Pope!”)

The Swiss Guards entered Castel Gandolfo and hung up their ceremonial weapons — called halberds — on the inner walls, as there is no longer a sitting pope for them to protect.

Vatican gendarmes dressed in black uniforms have relieved the guards. The doors of Castel Gandolfo have been sealed,...READ MORE

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Pope Benedict’s Kiss Goodbye (3362)

Infant son of a CNA editor received a farewell kiss from Pope Benedict.

02/28/2013 Comment

John Paul Uebbing's big moment.


VATICAN CITY — The infant son of a Catholic News Agency editor received a farewell kiss on his forehead from Pope Benedict yesterday at the plaza of St. Peter’s Basilica before Benedict's final general audience.

“To see him today, in the final hours of his papacy, and to have him hold my son in his arms was a special kind of blessing and a consolation from the Lord,” Jenny Uebbing, the mother of the fortunate infant, John Paul, told Catholic News Agency on Feb. 27.

“I asked the Lord to help me truly experience this morning, this last event with Pope Benedict, and to not be anxious about whether we would get a good spot or be able to see him drive by.”

“I had so much peace while we...READ MORE

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B16: The Prisoner of the Vatican Thesis, C. Everett Koop: The Padre Pio Connection and Much More! (2494)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/28/2013 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation: The Prisoner of the Vatican Thesis. Follow the link by Dr. Jeff Mirus to read more.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation: The Prisoner of the Vatican Thesis by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Big Pulpit

C. Everett Koop: The Padre Pio Connection – Kathy Schiffer, Patheos/Seasons of Grace

Making Life an Uphill Battle – Christina Weber, Catholic Stand

Purgatory: Conversion as a Process – J. C. Sanders, Catholic Lane

Papa Bene: “I Will Not Leave You Orphans” – Emily C. Hurt, Ignitum Today

Extraordinary Form Mass at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada – Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Who Wrote 1 Peter? – Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers

Pope Benedict XVI’s Last Audience and More Links - Big Pulpit

Suicide No Way to Go – Arland K. Nichols, Crisis Magazine


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Benedict’s Last Benediction (3774)

Speaking to a cheering crowd at Castel Gandolfo, he said: ‘I am a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his pilgrimage on earth.’

02/28/2013 Comments (5)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI blesses pilgrims for the last time as head of the Catholic Church from the window of his residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

– Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Shortly after arriving at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, following a brief helicopter trip from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI made his final public address.

“Thank you; thank you from my heart,” the Holy Father said to hundreds of cheering people assembled below the balcony from which he spoke, Vatican Radio reported. “I am happy to be here with you surrounded by the beauty of creation and your friendship that warms me.”

Said the Pope, “You know that today is different from others; as of 8pm, I will no longer be the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church.”

From now on, he said, “I am a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his...READ MORE

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