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Papal Resignation Is Rare Historical Event (2195)

But canon law makes specific provision for the decision Pope Benedict XVI announced today.

02/11/2013 Comments (4)

VATICAN CITY— On Feb. 11, Pope Benedict made it public that he will step down from his role as head of the Catholic Church, raising a number of questions about how the process of resignation works.

Only two other popes have resigned their post voluntarily in the history of the Church, with the last one being Gregory XII in 1415.

But, in retrospect, the idea was perhaps not so distant from the mind of Benedict XVI.

The first clear hint of such a move being on the mind of Pope Benedict came in his 2010 interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald.

That series of questions from Seewald later became the book Light of the World.

In that work, the Pope responded to a question...READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan: Benedict's Papacy Highlighted His Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life (5500)

President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reflects on Holy Father's 'tender heart of a pastor' that prompted him to encourage and meet his flock around the world.

02/11/2013 Comments (3)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

The following is the statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of New York, Feb. 11, 2013:

The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with his God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning, but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as Successor of St. Peter.

Though 78 when he was elected Pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people — and they were of all faiths — all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened — Jews, Muslims and Christians in...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal timothy dolan, catholic church, pope benedict xvi, the papacy, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

Belgium’s Slippery Slope: Lethal Injections for Deaf Twins Going Blind (6019)

Grounds for euthanasia expand in Belgium, where legislators are also challenging the right of doctors and hospitals to say ‘No’ to doctor-directed death.

02/11/2013 Comments (16)

– Wikipedia

JETTE, Belgium — Marc and Eddy Verbessem dressed in their new suits and shoes, had a cup of coffee and said goodbye to their parents and brother for the last time. Then the 45-year-old identical twin brothers gave a last little wave, and “they were gone,” said the doctor who gave them both lethal injections in December at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette, Belgium.

Born deaf, the brothers had lived together their entire lives, sharing a small apartment and working as cobblers in the village of Putte near Antwerp. When they were diagnosed nearly two years ago with a rare form of congenital glaucoma and told that they would eventually go blind, they sought euthanasia in Belgium,...READ MORE

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Pope Benedict XVI to Step Down Feb. 28 (16911)

The Holy Father, who became the leader of the world's more than 1 billion Catholics nearly eight years ago, says 'my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.'

02/11/2013 Comments (81)

– Wikipedia

Editor's note: Following is the full statement from Pope Benedict XVI resigning his papacy Feb. 28:

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...READ MORE

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Momentum Builds Around National March for Marriage (2208)

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 26.

02/11/2013 Comments (1)

WASHINGTON — Plans for a national March for Marriage in downtown Washington are generating excitement and enthusiastic support, according to organizers of the event.

The upcoming March for Marriage “is an opportunity to witness to the culture about our pro-marriage beliefs,” said Thomas Peters, cultural director for the National Organization for Marriage.

Peters told Catholic News Agency that coming together visibly to support the institution of marriage is critically important.

The National Organization for Marriage announced in late January that it would be hosting a March for Marriage in the nation’s capital on March 26.

The date coincides with the first day of oral arguments...READ MORE

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Trust in God's Strength When You Answer His Call, Pope Counsels (1952)

The Holy Father’s Angelus reflections focused on the Gospel reading from St. Luke that recounts Jesus calling St. Peter to follow him.

02/11/2013 Comments (3)

– Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI spoke about how Jesus calls his followers to believe in his power to overcome their sins so that they do not stand in the way of answering his call.

“The experience of Peter, certainly unique, is also representative of the call of every apostle of the Gospel, who must never be discouraged in proclaiming Christ to all men to the ends of the world,” Pope Benedict said Feb. 10, before reciting the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

His reflections focused on today’s Gospel reading from St. Luke, which recounts Jesus calling St. Peter to follow him.

“The call is in fact preceded by the teaching of Jesus to the crowd and a miraculous catch of fish,...READ MORE

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Bishop John D'Arcy: a Legacy of 'Tough Love' (8962)

The former Boston auxiliary recalls his attempts to stop the sex-abuse scandal before it happened.

02/10/2013 Comments (16)

Bishop John D'Arcy

– Courtesy of Catholic Charities, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Editor's Note: Bishop John D'Arcy, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., died Feb. 3 at the age of 80. In this January 2012 article, Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond recounted Bishop D'Arcy's prescient call for stronger measures to prevent clergy sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, while he was serving the Archdiocese of Boston as a priest and subsequently as an auxiliary bishop.

Originally published 01-04-2012

BOSTON — Ten years ago, Bishop John D’Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend (Ind.) Diocese got an urgent call from lawyers representing the Boston Archdiocese, where he had previously served as an auxiliary bishop from 1975-1985. He learned that...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of boston, bishop john d'arcy, catholic faith, pope benedict xvi, sex abuse scandal

Downton’s Delightful Dilemmas (14424)

Commentary: The BBC television show provokes fascinating, instructive dialogue.

02/10/2013 Comments (65)

Downton Abbey, a very popular series halfway through its third season on PBS, features a British family in possession of a huge and somewhat crumbling estate and the large staff employed to serve them.

The acting is excellent, the costumes stunning and the scenery most pleasing to the eye. The story lines are many, intricate and engaging. That said, a case could be made for watching the show solely for the few minutes in which Dame Maggie Smith appears in each episode.

Although some critics complain that Downton is just a sophisticated soap opera, not too many specify what they find “soap opera-ish” about it. It can’t just be that it focuses on complicated human relationships that...READ MORE

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