Pope Benedict defends choice to resign in last public address

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benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowd upon leaving St. Joseph's Church in New York following an ecumenical prayer service in 2008. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz.

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) In his final public address, Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday forcefully defended his decision to resign from the papacy while trying to reassure Catholics still reeling from the shock of his unprecedented move.

  • Gregorio

    A very fair, well-written synopsis of the Holy Father’s decision to step down from the papacy. Thank you, Alessandro, for your insight and fairness.

  • John d

    Another woeful “report” by a pseudo papal admirer? Yes, the regular mention of the scandals that “rocked” Benedict’s pontificate, the his being ill at ease in the office and othr predictable crap!! I saw Benedict on his trip to the U.S.and he was anything but ill at ease. This guy has been reporting on the Vatican since 2007?? A mere neophyte at best and he is given credence as a reliable commentator. The guy is an extreme mediocrity and should not be taken seriously. Don’t waste your time on this site!

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  • Theresa Shilling

    He who has no sin may he cast the first stone!
    The church holds much beuty despite the scandles, and the evils that has infintrated the church. God didn’t control the thoughts or actions of those people who caused harm in the church. They were born with a Free Will, they were not puppets but choose to harm others.
    God is pure goodness, His Love Will prevail and so will the Church as the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!
    We are called to pray for those who have harmed us, Our enemies. That they may repent of their evils and accept the salvation that Christ won for everyone of us, His Children.The Church in itself is Pure & Holy. Everyone of us fails Him in this life one way or another. There is not one that is perfect yet His merciful Love is there for anyone that will accept it in His heart and then live and act on it. Our Beloved Pope has done so much for our Church and sincerely reached out to the many victims that were harmed in the scandles.
    He is there with Christ in the agony of the garden when Our Lord sweated great drops of blood of the suffering He was to undergo.
    The suffereing He was to undergo for the sins of all that had ever been born and would ever be.The most scalet of sins He died and suffered for.
    He agonized over the forseen knowledge that not all would accept this gift, His redemption.
    Pope Benedict is carrying His cross and He suffers with those that have suffered and continues and unites them with Our Lord.
    Unfortunatley everyone has suffered from the sins that occured in the church yet why Leave Jesus because of Judas? And still there is salvation for those that have sins as of scarlet. We must pray, fast & do some form of pennace for their souls, for all of them and for ourselves that Christ’s Love may prevail in our Hearts. There is no good in holding onto bitterness and anger rather taking our rightous indigniation and using it for the Glory of God and building up of His kingdom. May our souls be purfied and those victims wounds be Healed by Christ’s Love and Mercy and through our prayers and love for them.
    This by no means justifies the evil actions of another. It does bring about conversion of Hearts back to God.
    Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict has done so much for our Church, our Hearts
    overflow with Love and Graditude for His unwavering faith and faithfullness to the Chair of Peter, His sheep and God’s Holy church.

  • Mike in Wisconsin

    This shouldn’t be a shock. The position of Pope is just a job like any other job. It doesn’t come with divine power, special grace (whatever that could mean) or favor or authority or anything else. It’s just another human job. If Catholics can wake up to that reality the Church might have a slight chance of entering the 21st Century.

  • CMR

    [Matthew 7:15-20] 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men].

  • William Hammer

    Sounds as if you want to be Catholic.

  • Mike in Wisconsin

    NO WAY!!! I formally defected from the Church many years ago, tried a few other forms of religion before eventually becoming one of the Nones. Although I identify with no religion, I’m fascinated with (and often worry about) religion’s impact on society. Religion has a few positive features and might even benefit society if it could just abandon its indefensible supernatural beliefs.