KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Pope To Resign Feb. 28



Bookmark and Share

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on - the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
 
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.
 
He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope - the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide - requires "both strength of mind and body."
 
"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," he told the cardinals. "I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by 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 barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary - strengths 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."
 
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.
 
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
 
The move sets the stage for the Vatican to hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn't have to be observed.
 
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner - the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.
 
When Benedict was elected pope at age 78 - already the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years - he had been already planning to retire as the Vatican's chief orthodoxy watchdog to spend his final years writing in the "peace and quiet" of his native Bavaria.
 
Contenders to be his successor include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican's office for bishops.
 
Longshots include Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Although Dolan is popular and backs the pope's conservative line, the general thinking is that the Catholic Church doesn't need a pope from a "superpower."
 
All cardinals under age 80 are allowed to vote in the conclave, the secret meeting held in the Sistine Chapel where cardinals cast ballots to elect a new pope. As per tradition, the ballots are burned after each voting round; black smoke that snakes out of the chimney means no pope has been chosen, while white smoke means a pope has been elected.
 
Popes are allowed to resign; church law specifies only that the resignation be "freely made and properly manifested."
 
Only a handful have done so, however and there's good reason why it hasn't become commonplace: Might the existence of two popes - even when one has stepped down - lead to divisions and instability in the church? Might a new resignation precedent lead to pressures on future popes to quit at the slightest hint of infirmity?
 
Benedict himself raised the possibility of resigning if he were simply too old or sick to continue on in 2010, when he was interviewed for the book "Light of the World."
 
"If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign," Benedict said.
 
The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had an intimate view as Pope John Paul II, with whom he had worked closely for nearly a quarter-century, suffered through the debilitating end of his papacy.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

36-Year-Old Man Dies In Rollover Crash In SD

A 36-year-old South Dakota man is dead following a rollover crash on Highway ...

Red Cross Volunteer Returns From Helping In NY

A South Dakota woman is returning home after volunteering for a ...

Man Charged With Murder In SF Woman's Death

A transient man is facing murder charges for the death of a Sioux Falls woman. Sioux ...

Cash, Credit Or Debit This Holiday Season?  story with video  Nov. 28

Pierre, Fort Pierre Grocery Stores Being Sold  Nov. 28

Kern Brings Experience To SD Supreme Court  Nov. 28

Nebraska, South Dakota To Devise Zebra Mussel Plan  Nov. 28

Growers Grateful For Higher Christmas Tree Prices  Nov. 28

Man Accused Of Having Sex With Minor Sentenced  Nov. 28

Good Holiday Shopping Season Expected In SD  Nov. 28

Laura And Brian Preview This Weekend's Movies  story with video  Nov. 28

23rd Annual Parade Of Lights Hits DTSF  Nov. 28

The Do's And Don'ts Of Holiday Shopping  story with video  Nov. 28

The Daily Scoop 11-28-2014  story with video  Nov. 28

SMSU Volleyball Player Battles Cancer  story with video  Nov. 27

Smooth Start For Black Friday Shoppers  story with video  Nov. 27

The Race To Get In Black Friday Shopping Lines  Nov. 27

Shoppers Grab Last-Minute Thanksgiving Items  Nov. 27

The Banquet Serves Up Free Thanksgiving Meals  Nov. 27

Producers: Pipeline Not A Cure-All For Rail Delays  Nov. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Burke Woman Killed In Crash Near Gregory

A Burke woman died in a one-vehicle roll-over crash near ...

Local Store Hours For Black Friday Shopping  story with video

Black Friday deals are starting earlier and ...

Man Charged With Murder In SF Woman's Death

A transient man is facing murder charges for the death ...

Pair Arrested For Drugs After Theft Of Headbands  Nov. 27

The Race To Get In Black Friday Shopping Lines  Nov. 27

Smooth Start For Black Friday Shoppers  story with video  Nov. 27

Shoppers Grab Last-Minute Thanksgiving Items  Nov. 27

Maker Of Thanksgiving Parade Balloons Hits Record  Nov. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Mustangs thrilled to be headed to Elite 8  story with video

The Mustangs of SMSU are headed to the Elite 8 for the first time ...

Augvie women win in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Augustana women's basketball team kicked off the ...

Butler loves Jacks chances in playoffs  story with video

Defense might be the difference in Saturday's playoff game in Bozeman. And Jackrabbits ...

Robinson inspires her teammates and coach  story with video  Nov. 27

Stampede win at Fargo  Nov. 26

Bos leads Coyotes to win at Dome over Wayne State  story with video  Nov. 26

Jansen, Richter lead Vikes to 7th straight win  story with video  Nov. 26

Wilber's DWU Tigers unbeaten after 9 games  story with video  Nov. 26

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top