Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Ratzinger steps down

Pope Benedict XVI's surprise announcement of his resignation effective February 28 brought a lot of attention in the press on Monday.

For many lay Catholics, the pending departure of the reaction Joseph Ratzinger from the Papacy invoked a similar sentiment to that expressed on the website of Página 12 for 12.02.2013:

The article itself is by Elena Llorente, Benedicto XVI renuncia a su pontificado y sorprende a todos.

There is already a lot of speculation about what role the sex abuse scandal plays in Ratzinger's departure. We'll probably learn more about that, especially if the next Pope does what he needs to do and really do a clean-up, making sure that the practice of covering for abusive priests ends and notifying the secular authorities to take action.

Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, aka, "Papa Ratzi"
As unusual as it is for a Pope to resign, it could be that Ratzinger is just tired and wants to spend his remaining years handling such a demanding position. His resignation is probably one of his best acts, and hopefully will open the way for his successors to retire when the job becomes too physically demanding rather than linger in the position semi-incapacitated, as his predecessor John Paul II seems to have done.

Llorente mentions that Ratzinger said several years ago in an interview that he would consider resignation as a possibility someday, though qualifying his statement by saying that he would not do so in a moment of crisis. She also reports that his brother Georg Ratzinger, also a German priest, knew of his decision beforehand.

Of course, speculation over his successor is part of the media chatter. So far, I've seen the following mentioned as possible candidates:

  • Cardinal Angelo Amato of Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, age 74
  • Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria, who is already 80
  • Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, age 70
  • Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, age 76
  • Cardinal Tarsicio Bertone of Italy, Vatican Secretary of State, age 78
  • Cardinal João Braz de Aviz of Brazil, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, age 65
  • Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico, Archbishop of Mexico City, Age 71
  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, age 63, a youngster in Papal age
  • Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, age 67, and possessor of perhaps the oddest official title of the lot
  • Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, age 69
  • Diarmuid Martin of Irelanhd, Archbishop of Dublin, age 67
  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, age 68
  • Cardinal George Pell of Australia, Archbishop of Sydney, age 70
  • Cardinal Mauro Piacenza of Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, age 68
  • Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka, Archbishop of Colombo, age 65
  • Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi of Italy, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, age 70
  • Cardinal Leonardo Sandri of Argentina, President of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, age 69
  • Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of Brazil, Archbishop of São Paulo, age 62, also a youngster in this context
  • Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, age 71
  • Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, who replaced an archbishop who had to step down because of his mishandling of sexual abuse cases, age 68
  • Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, age 69
  • Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines, Archbishop of Manila, age 55, a child in Papal age
  • Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, age 64

Commonweal has a page collecting various links related to The Resignation of Benedict XVI

The National Catholic Reporter is a good source, e.g., John L. Allen Jr., Pope Benedict leaves behind legacy full of ups and downs 02/11/2013.

So is Catholic News Service, e.g., Francis X. Rocca, In hindsight, Pope Benedict's resignation seems almost predictable 02/11/2013.

The Jesuit magazine America, which has many of its articles behind subscription, has posted links to a number of them on The Papacy of Benedict XVI.

Other stories:

Pope Benedict's resignation will set in motion period of transition Catholic News Service 02/11/2013, on how the conclave of the Cardinal of Cardinals that will select the next Pope functions:

Only those cardinals under age 80 will be eligible to vote in the coming conclave. Cardinals who are age 80 or over by the time the conclave starts are excluded from the closed-door proceedings. There will be 117 cardinal-electors when the "sede vacante" begins Feb. 28; by March 5, that number will be 116. ...

The word conclave comes from Latin, meaning literally "with key," and reflects the previous tradition of locking the cardinals in an area where they would spend day and night until the new pope's election.

On the day set for entry into the conclave, the cardinal-electors assemble in St. Peter's Basilica to attend morning Mass. In the afternoon, they walk in procession to the Sistine Chapel, located just to the north of St. Peter's.

The voting may begin that afternoon with one ballot; on following days, normally two ballots are held in the morning and two in the afternoon.

A pope is elected when he obtains a two-thirds majority, reflecting a change Pope Benedict established in 2007 that effectively undid a more flexible procedure introduced by Blessed John Paul.
Michael Brendan Dougherty, One Of These Men Will Be The New Pope Business Insider 02/11/2013

David Gibson And Alessandro Speciale, Who's in the running? 12 names to watch to become the next pope Washington Post 02/11/2013

Heribert Prantl, Stellvertreter Gottes a. D. Süddeutsche Zeitung 11.02.2013

Wie die Wahl des Benedikt-Nachfolgers funktioniert Die Welt 11.02.2013

Rätselraten um Papst-Nachfolge hat begonnen SWR 12.02.2013

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