Pope Benedict XVI Resigns: Coherence and Comprehension

(Vatican Radio) Shortly before midday on Monday Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation which will officially take effect at the end of the month, at 8pm on February 28th.

As people around the world struggle to come to terms with the surprise announcement, the question on everyone’s lips is ‘why did the Pope take this extremely unusual step of standing down as head of the Catholic Church?’

pope_benedict_xviListen to Philippa Hitchen’s report: RealAudioMP3

The statement of his resignation, read by the Pope in Latin, states clearly that his “advanced age” and his declining physical strength “are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry”

Pope Benedict also alluded to the possibility of his resignation in the book ‘Light of the World’, a series of answers to questions posed to him by German journalist Peter Seewald in 2010.

But further clues to the reasons behind the Pope’s action can also be gleaned by looking back to the early speeches and homilies he gave at the start of his pontificate in April 2005.

In his address to the college of cardinals on April 22nd just three days after his election, the Pope spoke clearly about being “aware of my personal limitations and limited abilities”. Nevertheless he described his attitude as one of inner dedication, describing the task ahead as “a service to be rendered with simplicity and willingness, imitating our Teacher and Lord who did not come to be served but to serve.”

via Vatican Radio – Benedict XVI’s resignation: Coherence and comprehension.

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