This morning’s news has rendered me speechless as Pope Benedict XVI has announcement his resignation. This is the first time since 1415 AD that a pope has resigned the Chair of St. Peter.
In the announcement, Pope Benedict XVI stated that he had come to the “certainty” that he was no longer able to fully lead the Roman Catholic Church due to health issues:
“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 St. 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 St. Peter.”
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to continue in his office until February 28th, when he will officially step down. The College of Cardinals will then seek a successor, hopefully electing a new pope before Easter (March 31st). May the Lord of Lords grant them wisdom in all that they do.