Connect to share and comment

Two popes, two resignations: Benedict XVI and Celestine V

The shy, retiring Pope Benedict XVI has much in common with 13th-century "humble hermit" Celestine V who quit the papacy after only five months, fed up with Vatican machinations. Celestine set a precedent for Benedict as the only other pope to resign of his own free will, as well as one who accepted the job with great reluctance. "I asked myself, where will I find the knowledge, the wisdom and the experience that I lack? Whom can I trust in the Roman Curia?" he asked, according to historian Ignazio Silone.

REFILE-Pope wrote three encyclicals, fourth will not be finished

(Fixes name of third encyclical) VATICAN CITY, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict wrote three encyclicals on spiritual, social and economic issues during his papacy and was working on a fourth when he decided to become the first pope in some six centuries to step down instead of reigning for life. Encyclicals are the highest form of papal writing and give the clearest indication to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics - and to non-Catholics - of what the pope and the Vatican think about specific social and moral issues.

Pope's goldsmith hopes ring will be spared destruction

The goldsmith who crafted the "Fisherman's Ring" worn by Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his work would not be destroyed once the pontiff steps down as is customary in Catholic tradition. "I hope the ring is preserved and exhibited. It is a jewel that has so much symbolic value," Claudio Franchi, a Rome artisan who was commissioned to make the gold ring when the pope was elected in 2005, told AFP in an interview Monday.

Book Talk: Papal resignation a PR coup for Vatican journalist

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor VATICAN CITY, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Few authors can boast that Pope Benedict helped sell their books, but the pontiff's shock resignation has boosted interest in all things Catholic just as veteran Vatican journalist John Thavis is about to publish. "The Vatican Diaries," a behind-the-scenes look at the faith's fabled nerve centre, goes on sale on Feb. 21, just one week before the pope takes the nearly unprecedented step of quitting as the head of the world's largest church.

Calendar of Pope Benedict XVI's last days in power

Pope Benedict XVI will combine public engagements with private prayer in the final days before he steps down as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics at 1900 GMT on February 28. The 85-year-old will mostly stick to his regular schedule, with a few notable additions and changes -- he has added meetings with Italy's prime minister and president, and his last general audience will be held exceptionally in St Peter's Square instead of at a Vatican auditorium.

Benedict will lose power of infallibility: Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI will lose his infallibility -- his supreme authority in Church matters -- as soon he steps down on February 28, the Vatican said on Wednesday as it struggles to explain a virtually unprecedented situation. "These powers go with the office, so they will pass to the next pope.... Whoever renounces no longer has the assistance of the Holy Spirit to guide the Universal Church," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said at a briefing.

'Pray for me' says pope at first appearance since resignation

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance on Wednesday since his shock resignation announcement, asking thousands of cheering pilgrims at the Vatican to "keep praying for me". The 85-year-old pontiff was greeted by a standing ovation and chants of "Benedetto", his name in Italian, at his weekly audience in the Paul VI auditorium, with a prominent banner reading "Thank You, Holiness".

Vatican prepares momentous papal transition

The Vatican on Tuesday prepared for a momentous transition after Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign on February 28, insisting that a recent heart operation had no bearing on his decision. The rumour mill over a successor went into overtime after what will be only the second voluntary papal resignation in Catholicism's 2,000-year history, although no clear favourite has emerged. The 85-year-old Benedict made the surprise announcement on Monday that he will step down after just short of eight years, saying he could no longer fulfil his duties in a fast-changing world.

Vatican prepares momentous papal transition

The Vatican prepared for a momentous transition after Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign on February 28, starting with a special mass on Wednesday and culminating in a final farewell in St Peter's Square on the eve of his departure. The rumour mill over a successor was into full swing after what will be only the second voluntary papal resignation in the Catholic Church's 2,000-year history, although no clear favourite has emerged.

Pope to bid Catholics farewell in St Peter's on Feb 27

Pope Benedict XVI will bid his followers farewell in a final audience in St Peter's Square on February 27, the day before he officially steps down, a Vatican spokesman said on Tuesday. "The last general audience will be held in the square since a lot of people will come," Federico Lombardi said at a press briefing. Lombardi also said the pope's traditional Ash Wednesday mass on February 13 would be his last major religious ceremony as pope together with other prelates.
Syndicate content