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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 911

Pope Resigns

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

In a shocking move, the Pope Benedict XVI, 85, announced that he would resign on 28 February citing the lack of strength due to advanced age to carry out his duties. The abrupt announcement has even rattled the Vatican insiders.

It is the first Papal resignation of its kind since 1415.The resignation, however, is unusual, as most of the pontiffs occupied the world’s most influential religious institution until their death that included those who served in the last century as his predecessors.

With the resignation, Pope Benedict proved, once again, that he is not only a formidable decision making is not a weakness of a leader, but its polar opposite. There is no doubt that he secured a special place in history books for this characteristic alone.

The Pontiff issued the following statement with the resignation:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church.

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.

I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with 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 bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength 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.

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.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects.

And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.

With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

- Asian Tribune -

Pope Resigns
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