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Pope Benedict’s Decision: Truth vs. Conjecture (8348)

NEWS ANALYSIS: It’s best to take the Holy Father at his word when wondering why he is stepping down.

02/19/2013 Comments (9)
L'Osservatore Romano-Vatican Pool/Getty Images

– L'Osservatore Romano-Vatican Pool/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — Conspiracies abound surrounding the Pope’s abdication Feb. 28, but it is becoming clear that the very reasons the Holy Father gave in his Feb. 11 announcement are the best guide to understanding his motives.

Pope Benedict XVI is not suffering from any specific medical problem — neither Alzheimer’s nor Parkinson’s disease — and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was categorical in his denials of such an illness when asked by the Register last week.

But what also can be verified by those who know the Holy Father best is that his physical condition has weakened considerably in recent months, to such an extent that he felt obliged to take action.

One source close...READ MORE

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Will Benedict Still Be ‘Pope’? (13153)

Bishop Paprocki mines canon law for guidance on what to call the Holy Father after Feb. 28 and how to define his landmark decision to step down.

02/18/2013 Comments (9)

– Wikipedia

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign, a debate quickly ensued about the proper terminology for describing the Pope’s stunning decision: Had he “abdicated,” resigned or “renounced” his office?  And what would he be called after he took up his new life of prayer and study?

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., a canon lawyer, has entered the discussion, offering the fruit of his analysis regarding the proper canonical term for the Pope’s decision and the likely title and name he will use after his resignation.

Such matters are not entirely settled because of the singular nature of this landmark decision: “A Pope has not left office alive for...READ MORE

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Rome Priests Respond With Sadness to Pope Stepping Down (1343)

'His spiritual life has influenced me as a priest because he was a real father,' said one priest.

02/18/2013 Comment
Sébastien Bertrand/ Wikipedia

– Sébastien Bertrand/ Wikipedia

VATICAN — “We’re sad because a pope is not only a theoretical leader; he’s the man to whom you give your allegiance and your vows, so there’s a direct link and a sadness in that,” said Father Robert, after the Pope met Feb. 14 with the clergy of his diocese at Paul VI Hall.

“It’s very sad because we’re losing a wonderful shepherd and a wonderful theologian, but he is also being realistic about the other acts of governance that he has to do,” Father Robert told Catholic News Agency.

The priest, who is originally from South Africa, also praised the Pope’s intellectual contributions, calling him “a giant in the Church.”

In keeping with his academic gifts, Pope Benedict spent his final...READ MORE

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Bill Notifying Parents on Interstate Abortion Re-Introduced to Congress (2446)

The pro-life legislation would help states enforce their parental-involvement laws.

02/18/2013 Comment

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Federal lawmakers praised the reintroduction of a bill requiring parental notification to transport minors across state borders for an abortion.

“Congress must take action to prevent underage abortions by giving states the federal backing necessary to enforce their parental-involvement laws,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

“These laws allow teenagers to receive the advice and guidance of a loved one before undergoing a procedure for which they may not be medically or emotionally prepared.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who is sponsoring the corresponding bill in the House of Representatives, said...READ MORE

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Vatican Bank Fills Top Post (2192)

The Commission of Cardinals chose the German candidate, who brings a wide range of experience to the job.

02/18/2013 Comments (1)

VATICAN CITY — The drama surrounding the Pope's resignation did not prevent the Vatican from moving ahead with filling the top post at its main financial institution.

The Institute for the Works of Religion, frequently called the Vatican Bank, announced Feb. 15 that Ernst von Freyberg will be the new president of the institute’s supervisory board.

“This decision is the result of extensive evaluation and a series of interviews that the Commission of Cardinals has conducted, with the constant support of the supervisory board,” a Feb. 15 communiqué said.

The process to select the best candidate took six months and involved 40 potential candidates that were presented by an...READ MORE

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Knights of Columbus Organizes Prayer Campaign for Pope Benedict XVI (3307)

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore wrote the prayer, which reads, in part: 'O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of your Church, we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and the selfless care with which he has led us as Successor of Peter and your Vicar on earth.'

02/18/2013 Comments (1)

The Knights of Columbus is asking its members and all Catholics to pray daily for the Pope and the Church in anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement and the election of a new pope.

The Knights' campaign comes at a time when Pope Benedict XVI has publicly asked for prayers for himself, his successor and the Church.

During the papal audience on Wednesday of this past week, the Holy Father said: "Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future pope." He also thanked all those who have kept him in their prayers.

The Knights are asking people to record their pledge to pray at PrayerfortheChurch.com.

The names of those who have made the pledge online will be brought to...READ MORE

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Pope Benedict on the Spiritual Battle That Is Lent (5565)

At its core, temptation is always meant to exploit God for some lowly end, the Holy Father explains in his second to last Angelus address Feb. 17.

02/18/2013 Comments (7)
Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

An Italian pilgrim expresses his sentiments to Pope Benedict following the Feb. 17 Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

– Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI used his penultimate Angelus address Feb. 17 to tell the throng of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that Lent is a “spiritual battle.”

Lent, he said, “always involves a battle, a spiritual battle, because the spirit of evil naturally opposes our sanctification and seeks to divert us from the way of God.”

Pope Benedict has just 11 days left as spiritual leader of the Church until his almost unprecedented resignation takes effect Feb. 28. More than 35,000 people have registered with the pontifical household to officially bid him farewell.

The Holy Father, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, explained that the Lenten “spiritual...READ MORE

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Conclave May Take Place Earlier Than Expected (4103)

The College of Cardinals could decide to move the start date forward from the previously indicated March 15-20 window.

02/18/2013 Comments (3)

Coat of Arms during the Vacancy of the Holy See.

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s spokesman announced that the coming conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor might be convened in shorter order than previously thought.

“It is possible that Church authorities can prepare a proposal to be taken up by the cardinals on the first day after the papal vacancy,” Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi told the press on Feb. 16.

Church law currently prescribes that from the moment a Pope dies or renounces the pontificate “the cardinal electors who are present must wait 15 full days for those who are absent.”

In Blessed John Paul II’s 1996 document, the apostolic constitution titled Universi Dominici Gregis, cardinals are...READ MORE

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