Benedict XVI: ‘God told me’ to resign

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Pope Benedict XVI leaves Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24, 2011. RNS photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

Pope Benedict XVI leaves Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24, 2011. RNS photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Reports say retired Pope Benedict XVI decided to become the first pope in 600 years to resign because "God told me" to step aside.

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  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I respect and revere this great man. It is criminal–even grossly sinful–the way some-even some Catholics–have treated this holy man with slander and insult.
    He has been ridiculed and derided in the media as “God’s Rotweiler” or the “German Shepherd ” or even “RATzinger.”
    He was doing his job defending basic Catholic and Christian doctrine. Would that some other people would do their jobs.
    But he will have the last laugh before the throne of Christ upon his entry into eternal life. For according to what our Lord said in the Beatitudes, there is a great reward awaiting those who suffer because of their loyalty to Him.

  • gilhcan

    So Benedict had a vision with God like all the other radicals of religion. Religion is supposed to be about the pursuit of goodness in order to earn one’s way to a better existence after death. Even non-theists pursue goodness for a better life during its own time. But the study of religion shows that from its start in many ancient mythologies to the sophisticated refinements of theology today, religion, in its managers and so many of its followers, is an outrageous practice of evil.

    In Benedict’s church, the sacraments were developed to give the male clergy, in its hierarchical order, control over all other adherents from cradle to grave. Study your sacramental history. The refinements in Reformation churches were great clarifications of those exorbitant notions, but they unfortunately did not lead to a purifying of church or church members.

    To claim that the Christian church is a pursuit of the principles of Jesus, “The Model of the Holy,” has clashed badly with actual practice especially since the non-Chrstian emperor Constantine took over the early Jesus communities for his political gain at his Council of Nicaea in 325. All connections to the results of that council and the later church should be eradicated, including its famous Nicene creed.

    Without returning to any of the counterfeit notions of church that have followed the slaughter of Jesus on the cross as a troublesome rebel, it is vital that people study all the writings about Jesus–since he did no writing himself, and none was done in his own time–in order to select and formulate a new idea of church that genuinely reflects goodness in all aspects. That means going beyond the New Testament canon.

    That cannot be done with the maintenance of any subservience among followers. It demands study. It demands learning. The concept of church demands thinking. It demands a form of democracy that is absolutely dependent on study, learning, and thinking. That would be a democracy that is real and very different than that claimed to have ever existed in any secular nation so far, including the Untied States. Real democracy cannot exist without an informed, thinking, and wise choice of leadership by constituents, not even church democracy.

  • gilhcan

    Man’s will is so easily distorted to be the will of God! Benedict now needs to define the difference between a vision and a mystical experience. Perhaps it would be better for Benedict to remain silent as he inferred he would by parking his miter in the Vatican’s monastic gardens instead of properly separating himself from the seat of papal power by returning to Germany. I expect we will continue to hear these disclosures from intimates who are granted an audience with his Emeritus Holiness. That’s what I call a genuine retirement from the world.

  • gilhcan

    Correction, Catholic doctrine, in no way Christian doctrine!

  • Paul


    Catholic doctrine, is christian doctrine..the two are inseperable.

    If you referring to the sects who have splits from Christ’s church as being some alternative to Catholic teaching, and referring to them as ” christian” alternatives – then you are WRONG.

    “extra eclesiam nulla salus”.

    This has been the disaster of this period – the opinion, it appears held by yourself, that truth is found everywhere – and therefore the Holy Catholic Church is no longer God’s only source of grace and truth on earth. If that is the case – if that is your understanding – then you’re wrong.

    Outside Roman Catholicism and the sanctyfing grace she offers her faithful – there is no hope of salvation… only Hell.

    This has been the teaching of Popes back to Peter himself, and nothing has changed,

    This truth, and the channel of sanctifying grace thrugh the Holy Mass and confession has been clealry stated for 2000 years, until Paul VI and his Vat II confusion. And it still holds today…

    So with Benedict being the VIcar of Christ – leading the mystical body of Christ – it is quite probable that God asked him to step aside for the good of the Church; to allow a strong Pope to take up the battle against the Devil and the aggressive secular society that the Devil leads.

    That is our onl;y purpose gilhan, to live by the laws of the church, given to man via scripture, tradition and revelation, to save our souls from Hell.

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