Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI Resigns
The news that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning caught everyone by surprise including the Church. The 85-year old pope will leave the papacy on February 28 owing to his declining health and old age. A voluntary papal resignation is uncommon. Pope Celestine V abdicated the position in 1294 while Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415 to end the western schism.
In a statement on February 11, the German pope said: "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.
"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."
His successor will be elected possibly during the beginning of the holy week on 24 March.
Featured above are the Pope Benedict XVI stamps released in Germany and the Vatican.
I am glad that that I have a philatelic remembrance in the form of a postal envelope with a cachet bearing the pope's image. This envelopes were sent to me and Cebu Stamp Club by the Vatican Postal Administration in 2011 and 2012.
See my previous blog featuring Pope Benedict XVI. Jump here..