Posted On : February 11, 2013 12:43 PM | Posted By : Webmaster
Related Categories: Lambeth
It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict’s declaration of his decision to lay down the burden of ministry as Bishop of Rome, an office which he has held with great dignity, insight and courage. As I prepare to take up office I speak not only for myself, and my predecessors as Archbishop, but for Anglicans around the world, in giving thanks to God for a priestly life utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ. He has laid before us something of the meaning of the Petrine ministry of building up the people of God to full maturity.
In his visit to the United Kingdom, Pope Benedict showed us all something of what the vocation of the See of Rome can mean in practice – a witness to the universal scope of the gospel and a messenger of hope at a time when Christian faith is being called into question. In his teaching and writing he has brought a remarkable and creative theological mind to bear on the issues of the day. We who belong to other Christian families gladly acknowledge the importance of this witness and join with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in thanking God for the inspiration and challenge of Pope Benedict’s ministry.
We pray that God will bless him profoundly in retirement with health and peace of mind and heart, and we entrust to the Holy Spirit those who have a responsibility to elect his successor.
+ Justin Cantuar:
Pope Benedict’s resignation statement is below:
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 many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
The Anglican Church News Service surprised us all with the news that the Pope, Benedict XIV, has tendered his resignation, from the office of Supreme Pontiff, to his brother Cardinals at the Vatican. Here is the Pope’s reason given for his resignation:
“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.”
This is a brave step for the reigning Pontiff – especially in the light of the slow demise of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, whose own failing health never prompted him to resign from his onerous duties of office. And the consequences of that have been recognised in the hiatus that was the result of an ineffective papal control.
It may well be that the new climate of demands – like those of fellow Roman Catholics for the ordination of women clergy – as well as for a relaxation of the ban on contraception, and other matters of sexual import – has forced Pope Benedict to consider handing over the reins of Church government to a younger, perhaps less conservative, Head of the Church.
Whatever the real reasons behind the resignation, Pope Benedict must be congratulated for his holding together of the Roman Catholic community – under immense pressure from the body of the Church to bring about reforms that might have caused the more conservative parts of his Church to question the prospect of relaxation of traditional oversight from their Chief Bishop.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as the representative of Anglicanism around the world, has offered his regret at this sudden decision of a fellow Leader in the Church.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand