- ‘Joy and difficulty’ as Benedict XVI says goodbye 27/02/2013 13:07 CET
- A rainbow day at Vatican City 27/02/2013 18:45 CET
- Mixed feelings among faithful over Pope’s successor 27/02/2013 20:17 CET
- Benedict defended doctrine 27/02/2013 21:58 CET
- The Vatican and the future 27/02/2013 18:41 CET
Pope Benedict XVI will wield considerable influence inside the Vatican after stepping down, according to leading Swiss theologian Professor Hans Küng, who likened him to a ‘shadow pope’.
Professor Küng, an emeritus professor at the University of Tübingen in Germany and a renowned critic of the Catholic spoke to euronews’ Rudolf Herbert on the day of Benedict’s last public audience as pontiff.
He said that Benedict’s conservative-leaning legacy will live on, whoever is named as his successor.
“I’m afraid that Joseph Ratzinger will be a shadow pope. He will not live in a monastery but in a former convent, which has been transformed into a beautiful villa, even in the future he will be addressed as ‘Your Holiness’, said Küng, who has his authority to teach Catholic theology revoked by the Vatican in 1979.
“It’s all very dangerous and it will restrict the freedom of the next pope, because Ratzinger will live close to the Vatican, he will reside there and maintain his contacts,” he added.
The Vatican took action against Küng more than 30 years ago after he became the first Catholic priest to publicly question the doctrine of papal infallibility.
Pope Benedict XVI took over in 2005 and his papacy has been dogged by child abuse allegations, as well as the recent ‘VatiLeaks’ scandal.
Küng said there is these events have “put a huge strain on the pontificate of Benedict XVI”, describing his tenure as having led the Church into “a bottleneck.”
“We have an exodus from the Church of men and women. The younger generation is not going anymore… We have a lot of problems, especially because we are steering off course from the second Vatican Council, the path of modernisation set by Pope John XXIII. We wanted to go forward. We are suffering from this restoration process that started with the Polish pope (John Paul II) and this German pope,” he told euronews.
More about: Benedict XVI, Catholicism, Pope Election Conclave 2013, Religion, Sex scandal
Copyright © 2013 euronews
AVE MARIA -
As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to leave his post, Ave Maria is honoring him with several events, including several special masses.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane has asked all of the parishes in the diocese to honor the Pope with Masses of Thanksgiving – and they are, to give thanks to Pope Benedict for his service to the church.
The three masses on Wednesday will happen at 7:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.
They’re expected to pray for Pope Benedict’s health and also pray for the bishops who have a very large task ahead of them as they start the process of electing a new Pope.
Rod Miller and his wife attended the early morning mass at Ave Maria.
“It’s a time to be happy, it’s a time to be pleased that the will of God is being activated through the church, we’re going to get a renewed vibration and a renewed reverence,” he says.
Earlier Wednesday morning, the Pope gave his final general audience, the weekly appointment he kept to teach the world about the Catholic faith.
Tomorrow, Pope Benedict will meet with the cardinals. Later, his papacy will end. He is the 265th pope in the history of the Catholic Church and the first to step down in six centuries.
“This is a man that is definitely full of humility, full of courage that knows himself, knows his calling to serve our church and knows his weaknesses as well and that this is a time that he he feels confident that the lord is asking him to pass on his reign to another pope,” says Mass attendee Chris Smith.
As for his replacement, as soon as Monday, cardinals will begin the process of electing a new pope.
PLACE YOUR BET$ !
By DARCEL CHOY Thursday, February 28 2013
PLAYING on Trini’s penchant for “placing a bet” on almost every event, be it horse racing or who would win best actor and actress at the Academy Awards, local racing pools have offered odds on who will be the next head of the billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked the world when he announced his resignation earlier this month, delivered his final address as Pope yesterday at St Peter’s Square before thousands of people. The papal seat will be vacant from 8 pm Italian time (3 pm local time) today and Benedict, who will from today be known as “emeritus pope” will live a life of prayer within the Vatican walls.
The intrigue now surrounding the first Papal resignation in over 600 years and who will be the next Pope has not gone unnoticed by betting shops in Trinidad with Goodwood Racing pool advertising in Newsday’s Monday edition, in the Sports Section, odds on a range of bets in such categories as: Next Pope; Papal Name of Pope; Length of Conclave; Country of Next Pope; Age of Next Pope and Number of Ballots Held.
Bets are usually placed on sports but given this historic Papal resignation, the betting service saw it fit to offer odds on who will be the Catholic Church’s next leader. Ironically, while the Catholic Bible makes no specific mention on gambling and whether or not it is a sin, the Bible references money, the winning of, being the sole purpose of gambling.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13).
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10), are two readily identifiable references to money in the Bible.
At Goodwood Racing Pool, the odds for Archbishop Angelo Scola, the Italian candidate, are 11 to one, which equates to $3.75 for every $1 played/gambled. The other Italian, Tarcisio Bertone’s odds are six to one, which is $7 for every $1 played.
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson’s odds are seven to one or a $4.50 payout for every $1 played on him becoming Pope. Canadian Cardinal Marc Quellet is a nine to one odds, with $5.50 for every $1 played. The last two candidates are Nigerian Cardinal Franciz Arizine and Cardinal Leonard Sandri from Argentina, with odds of 12 to one which equates to $13 in winnings for every $1 played.
Persons can also place bets on what would be the Papal name of the next Pope be. The odds are one to one for ‘Peter’, four to one for ‘Pius’, five to one for ‘John Paul’, 12 to one for ‘Benedict’ and ‘John’ and 16 to one for ‘Joseph’ or ‘Josephius’.
There are also bets on the length of the Papal Conclave which is where the College of Cardinals convenes to elect a new Pope by casting of secret ballots. The odds for that are two to one for one day, four to one for two days, three to one for three days, six to one for four days and seven to two for more than four days.
The pope has renounced the papal throne. Long live the progressive pope! Such are the rallying cries from establishment voices wanting to see the Catholic Church loosen up now that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to step down. But maybe people should listen to the Church’s actual views.
Mary Hasson from the Ethics and Public Policy Center has been doing some unique work looking into what Catholic women know and want from their Church. It’s scandalous and yet not entirely surprising that she found only 13 percent of Catholic women who occasionally attend Mass accept Church teaching on contraception.
It’s not a shock given that the average Catholic Mass goer is not exactly being taught the theology and even practicality of the Catholic teaching on sexual morality.
“On the one hand, the number is small, no question,” Hasson acknowledges. “That 13 percent includes not only weekly churchgoers but also women who attend less regularly, perhaps a few times a year. However, if we look only at women who attend Mass weekly, the percentage accepting the Church’s teaching on contraception goes up, doubling (to 27 percent) among young women ages 18-34. That’s a sign of hope — in spite of decades of dissenting theologians, silence from the parish pulpit and distorted cultural messages about sex, these women have heard the Church’s teaching and embraced it. These women form a solid core of faithful Catholics who can attest to the personal benefits of following the Church’s teaching on sexuality and family planning.”
Some Catholic women have a similar relationship to Church teachings on contraception: 37 percent, in Hasson’s findings, were unsure about the specifics.
“The 37 percent seems to confirm the stories that abound of Catholic women who went to Mass every week for years and to confession regularly, but never heard that contraception is wrong.”
A cover story in glossy New York magazine recently dared to question the good of the birth-control pill based on the damage it had wrought on women’s lives and bodies. The one institution that proposes a radically different way might just have something to offer the world — if it only taught it and lived it.
Pope Benedict has been a teacher, first and foremost, reintroducing a proposal that Christ himself offered. Men and women living in service for love of God are good to have around. Enough with the campaign for less Catholicism in the Catholic Church. How about a welcome mat for a good and faithful shepherd who, with confidence and humility, speaks with clarity about the teachings of the Catholic Church, “proposing the good news of Jesus Christ to a disenchanted world,” as George Weigel puts it in his book “Evangelical Catholicism.”
The world doesn’t need a Gospel of misery but of hope. The Church has it, and we should expect the next pope to teach on, infused with a generous and contagious spirit of engagement.
Kathryn Lopez is the editor-at-large of National Review Online www.nationalreview.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the reign of Pope Benedict XVI wanes, Catholicism is at a crossroads. It is a deeply polarized religion. Its values and culture predate capitalism. Today, many Catholic Americans are globalized and often torn between a spiritual vision of the world and their acceptance of
secularized society. Nevertheless, in both first and third world countries, there remains substantial interest in the progress of the Catholic Church and its leaders.
The excitement surrounding the announcement of a conclave following Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement suggests that it is the distance between modern American life and Catholic religious culture and leadership that continues to both fascinate and frustrate many Catholic and non-Catholic Americans.
The roots of Christianity lie in cultures that depended on local networks and personal charity, rather than communities supported by centralized government-funded assistance programs. Through the first 1,900 years of Catholic history, infant mortality rates were high, making unreliable contraception methods less problematic. Public homosexuality was extremely rare and widely demonized. War, famine and disease epidemics were realistic concerns to people who had little education or role in government and sought frontline protection through prayer.
This type of society still exists in many parts of the world, notably South America and Africa, which are home to 27.87 percent and 12.57 percent of the world’s Catholics, respectively. In South America, large populations live amid desperate poverty and continued violence, but they remain overwhelmingly active Catholics. Catholics are a small minority (15 percent in 2010) in Africa, a continent plagued by famine and HIV/AIDS, but it has seen steady growth in both converts and the priesthood.
While Catholic theology reflects thousand-year-old teachings that many Americans find outmoded, our fascination with the traditions of Catholicism grows out of our distance from its point of origin and trajectory of development — first Roman Judea and then medieval Europe. This American fascination is fed by the popularity of neo-Gothic church architecture and Renaissance art (Michelangelo in particular) that reminds us of Christians’ shared European past.
The preservation of centuries-old liturgies and rituals and the periodic use of Latin allow Catholics to connect with their spiritual and cultural roots. Yet this desire for cultural preservation often sits in opposition to the modernization of Catholic theology and frustrates people seeking a compromise between traditional doctrine and a modern lifestyle.
The current discussion among the 74 million American Catholics about the next pope’s identity reflects a tension between our current lives and our collective past, as well as a tension between Catholic needs in first and third world countries. Not surprisingly, Americans want different things from the next pope than do Catholics living in a Brazilian slum or dying of AIDS in Africa.
If the next pope wants to bridge the disconnect between these dramatically different lifestyles, he will have to find a way to deliver traditional Catholic succor while easing frustration over doctrine and maintaining the trappings of Catholic culture. Surely this is a divine challenge if ever there was one.
Jennifer Mara DeSilva is a history professor at Ball State University.
Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Marcel Damphousse calls the Faithful to Prayer and Faith in the Coming Days
CORNWALL, ON – Catholics from around the world have their attention focused on Rome these days and more particularly on this day of February 28, 2013. It is an historic day in the history of the Church, for Pope Benedict XVI will relinquish his responsibilities, renouncing his Petrine ministry because his fragile health.
We do not remain indifferent as a Church before such news. On the contrary, led by our faith, we are called to pray in thanksgiving for the many years of service rendered by the Holy Father and for his witnessing of faith and love for Christ. We continue to support him in our prayers during this time of transition. He will retire to one of the Vatican monasteries, dedicating himself to prayer and reflection in communion with us all.
I urge you to pray to the Holy Spirit so that He may enlighten and guide the cardinals who will gather in Conclave very shortly to elect the next Successor of Peter. Our prayers contribute to ensuring the choice will be of God and not of men.
We will have a better idea as to when the Conclave will start once the cardinals begin their general meetings, probably on March 4. The successor will most likely be chosen from the present cardinals, but one needs to be reminded that, in theory, any Catholic man in good standing with the Church is eligible.
Finally, in light of the heavy media coverage, I strongly recommend that everyone please take time to verify sources of the information before accepting ”news” as fact. Here are a few reliable Catholic sources that can help you in your research: www.zenit.org and www.saltandlighttv.org .
An estimated 130,000 well-wishers filled St. Peter’s Square in Wednesday’s farewell celebration for Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict’s final day in office was scheduled as follows (all times in GMT):
- 10am – Cardinals gather in the Vatican to bid farewell to Pope Benedict
- 3:15pm – Pope is driven to a helipad within the Vatican
- 4pm – Travels by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo near Rome
- 5pm – Appears at a window overlooking the public square in Castel Gandolfo to bless a crowd
- 7pm – Benedict officially ceases to be pope and is known henceforth as ‘pope emeritus’. Swiss guards at the entrance to Castel Gandolfo leave their posts.
This current time is referred to as sede vacante (the seat is empty.) On Wednesday the average age of the 117 eligible cardinal-electors was just under 72 years, about five years older than the average when Pope John Paul II was elected to the papacy in 1978. The eligible cardinals range from 53 to 79 years of age and represent 50 countries, including three from Canada and 11 from the U.S.A.
According to the Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office, during this period of sede vacante, four commemorative stamps will be available. The stamps will only be valid until the election of a new pope and are expected to have a high collector value. Special sede vacante coins will also be minted, some of which will go into general circulation. Unlike the stamps, the coins may not be available until April.
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What people are saying about his successor’s election and the Vatican
Tristan Stewart-Robertson,First Post: “In his final address to an enthusiastic crowd at the Vatican on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI said: ‘I took this step (resignation) in full awareness of its gravity and novelty but with profound serenity of spirit. I’m really moved. You keep the church alive.’ … When the flock is so large and so diverse, it may be that the Catholic Church requires a younger shepherd. That person may have the energy of youth, in turn, but lack the wisdom afforded by age. Whether you agreed with it or not, the pope certainly had/has wisdom. It is a wisdom based on his personal faith and conviction, and that’s important to understand.”
Joan Vennochi, The Boston Globe: “The Catholic Church can’t get to a bright, new future until it finally breaks with the ugliness of the past. One way to make such a break would be to keep Cardinal Roger Mahony from participating in the next election to determine a new pope. … Two weeks ago, Mahony was relieved of all public duties. … Mahony actively worked to protect priests who were abusing children from police. … Despite those sentiments, Mahony remains a ‘bishop in good standing.’ … This blindness of the Catholic hierarchy to the need for personal accountability is an old, sad story.”
Peter Weber, The Week: “Last week, Italy’s La Republica newspaper reported, without naming any sources, that Pope Benedict had decided to abdicate … after receiving a secret report on financial improprieties, corruption and blackmail linked to a network of sexually active gay priests and Vatican officials. … According to a Vatican statement … Pope Benedict ‘has decided that the acts of this investigation, known only to himself, remain solely at the disposition of the new pope.’ … The cardinal-electors will be flying blind, picking a new leader without knowing what he’ll have to clean up — or even whether he’s implicated in the mess.”
Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast: “When Cardinal Keith O’Brien handed in his resignation as archbishop of Scotland … last year, he likely had no idea how relevant it would become in the history of the Catholic Church. The resignation was made … ‘now for later’ — to be dealt with when the pope had time for such matters. But Pope Benedict … only found time to approve O’Brien’s resignation last Friday. The resignation … is just the latest in an avalanche of sleazy scandals to rock the Vatican since the pope tendered his resignation on Feb. 11. And, given the speed at which the Vatican’s skeletons are surfacing, O’Brien’s resignation has left many wondering how many cardinals will be left by the time the conclave begins.”
Teresa Puente,Newsday: “What Catholics need most is a leader who will welcome everyone into the church and who will look at ways to examine whether church doctrine makes sense in today’s modern world. Birth control, gay marriage and women priests are just some of the issues some Catholics like myself would like the church to re-examine.”
Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review: “Pope Benedict has been a teacher, first and foremost, reintroducing a transformative proposal that Christ himself offered. And it so happens that men and women, wanting to be good, living lives in service in love of God, men and women whose lives are well ordered — are good to have around. Enough with the campaign for less Catholicism in the Catholic Church.”
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.
As we head into the Conclave, I’d like to add a “must read” to your wish list: New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Relator of the Synod of the Bishops on the New Evangelization.
Here’s the blueprint:
This is a new moment in the life of the Church, a new Pentecost. It’s our turn now, to share the great gift we have been given, the gift of our Catholic faith, and renew the face of the earth. Cardinal Donald Wuerl
For the first time since the term New Evangelization was coined by Blessed John Paul II, 250 bishops from all over the world were called to Rome by Pope Benedict XVI to discuss it, define it, and determine what it really means to Catholics today. In an exclusive first-hand summary of the three-week Synod, the leader of the gathering, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, provides a succinct, specific and tactical roadmap for where Catholics and parishes and dioceses go from here, including:
—What’s the point? The three most important priorities of the New Evangelization
—What am I up against? The three isms that get in the way of sharing and growing the Faith
—What do I do? How to galvanize people around one simple truth of the Gospel message
—Where it all began: The four theological foundations of the New Evangelization
—Learning from the best: The four characteristics of great evangelizers
In addition to personal and group reflection questions at the end of every chapter, Wuerl also shares his own personal faith sharing experiences with non-Catholics and Catholics alike and how the insight he gained shaped his own view of the New Evangelization. A must-read for all parish communities.
Priced under $5 and concise enough to read in an afternoon, Cardinal Wuerl’s latest book is the perfect way to tune up for what’s going to take place in the weeks ahead. In a recent article, the OSV Daily Take blog excerpts the book’s preface here. Grab it on Kindle or in paperback and be ready for the New Evangelization opportunities that are sure to come your way this month.
Pope will keep title ‘His Holiness’ after resignation
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire.
Tens of thousands of people toting banners saying “Grazie!” — “Thank you” — jammed the piazza in Rome to bid Benedict farewell and join the appointment he has kept each week for eight years to teach the world about the Catholic faith.
Benedict clearly enjoyed the crowds, taking a long victory lap around the square in an open-sided car and stopping to kiss and bless half a dozen children handed to him by his secretary.
In keeping with the historic moment, Benedict changed course and didn’t produce his typical professorial Wednesday catechism lesson. Rather, he made his final public appearance in St. Peter’s a personal one, explaining once again why he was becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign and urging the faithful to pray for his successor.
“To love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the church in mind, not oneself,” Benedict said to thundering applause.
He recalled that when he was elected pope on April 19, 2005, he questioned if God truly wanted it. “‘It’s a great burden that you’ve placed on my shoulders,’” he recalled telling God.
During eight years, he said “I have had moments of joy and light, but also moments that haven’t been easy … moments of turbulent seas and rough winds.”
But he said he never felt alone and thanked his cardinals and colleagues for their guidance and for “understanding and respecting this important decision.”
Under a bright sun and blue skies, the square was overflowing with pilgrims and curiosity-seekers. Those who couldn’t get in picked spots along the main boulevard leading to the square to watch the event on giant TV screens. Some 50,000 tickets were requested for Benedict’s final master class, but Italian media estimated the number of people actually attending could be double that.
“It’s difficult — the emotion is so big,” said Jan Marie, a 53-year-old Roman in his first years as a seminarian. “We came to support the pope’s decision.”
With chants of “Benedetto!” erupting every so often, the mood was far more buoyant than during the pope’s final Sunday blessing. It recalled the jubilant turnouts that often accompanied him at World Youth Days and events involving his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
Benedict has said he decided to retire after realizing that, at 85, he simply didn’t have the “strength of mind or body” to carry on. He will meet Thursday morning with cardinals for a final time, then fly by helicopter to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.
There, at 8 p.m., the doors of the palazzo will close and the Swiss Guards in attendance will go off duty, their service protecting the head of the Catholic Church over — for now.
Many of the cardinals who will choose Benedict’s successor were in St. Peter’s Square for his final audience. Those included retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, the object of a grass-roots campaign in the U.S. to persuade him to recuse himself for having covered up for sexually abusive priests. Mahony has said he will be among the 115 cardinals voting on who the next pope should be.
Vatican officials say cardinals will begin meeting Monday to decide when to set the date for the conclave to elect the next pope.
But the rank-and-file faithful in the crowd Wednesday weren’t so concerned with the future; they wanted to savor the final moments with the pope they have known for eight years.
“I came to thank him for the testimony that he has given the church,” said Maria Cristina Chiarini, a 52-year-old homemaker who traveled by train early Wednesday from Lugo in central Italy with some 60 members of her parish. “There’s nostalgia, human nostalgia, but also comfort, because as a Christian we have hope. The Lord won’t leave us without a guide.”
Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield
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