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Old 02-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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Pope Steps Down 1st in 600yrs

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Pope Benedict XVI to resign citing poor health





Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.

The unexpected development - the first papal resignation in nearly 600 years - surprised governments, Vatican-watchers and even his closest aides.

The Vatican says it expects a new Pope to be elected before Easter.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope in 2005 after John Paul II's death.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says the move has come as a shock - but adds that in theory there has never been anything stopping Pope Benedict or any of his predecessors from stepping aside.

Under the Catholic Church's governing code, Canon Law, the only conditions for the validity of such a resignation are that it be made freely and be properly published.

But resignation is extremely rare: the last Pope to step aside was Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 amid a schism within the Church.


Doctor's advice
A Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that even Pope Benedict's closest aides did not know what he was planning to do and were left "incredulous". He added that the decision showed "great courage" and "determination".

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is quoted as saying he was "greatly shaken by this unexpected news".

The brother of the German-born Pope said the pontiff had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.

Talking from his home in Regensburg in Germany, Georg Ratzinger said his brother was having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation was part of a "natural process".

He added: "His age is weighing on him. At this age my brother wants more rest."

The Pope is not expected to take part in the conclave that will choose his successor, and will then retire to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo when he leaves office.

Father Lombardi said the Pope would then move into a renovated monastery used by cloistered nuns inside the Vatican, for "a period of prayer and reflection".


'Full freedom'
At 78, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected.

He took the helm as one of the fiercest storms the Catholic Church has faced in decades - the scandal of child sex abuse by priests - was breaking.

In a statement, the pontiff said: "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 steer the ship 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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil 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."

A theological conservative before and during his time as Pope, he has taken traditional positions on homosexuality and women priests, while urging abstinence instead of blessing the use of contraceptives.


European press roundup

The Pope's shock resignation on health grounds is an "eruption of modernity" into the Vatican, according to Ezio Mauro, chief editor of Italy's La Repubblica daily.

The Spanish daily El Mundo says Benedict XVI will be remembered as "God's sweeper" - the man who tried to resolve the "numerous problems of the Church that did so much harm to its image".

The editor of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Bernd Riegert, calls the Pope's move "a courageous step, a revolutionary step". "He has helped himself to freedom, he is setting boundaries. No longer will successors be able to cling onto their office."

European media stunned
His attempts at inter-faith relations were mixed, with Muslims, Jews and Protestants all taking offence at various times, despite ongoing efforts to reach out and visits to key holy sites, including those in Jerusalem.

A German government spokesman said he was "moved and touched" by the surprise resignation of the pontiff.

"The German government has the highest respect for the Holy Father, for what he has done, for his contributions over the course of his life to the Catholic Church.

"He has left a very personal signature as a thinker at the head of the Church, and also as a shepherd."
BBC News - Pope Benedict XVI to resign citing poor health


Quite a surprise wonder what the real reason is, thought they were to serve til they passed
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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Politics........
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Politics........
Well, it is a decent change. In the past, when politics got in the way, they just assassinated the Pope.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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1 satanist down
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Prob got caught with CP
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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I was actually expecting Alpha to mention Nostradamus
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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lol
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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Most locals I spoke to didn't like him that much anyways, guess they are happy to hear this news.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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Always had a bad vibe from him compare to the previous pop, but meh I dun know shit bout this
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #11
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I really wonder what the real reason is...
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #12
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I've ALWAYS made this comparison whenever I see a picture of the pope

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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Easy. The sith lord still lives! He's rebuilding his galactic empire for Star Wars VII.

Edit: lol ^
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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Seriously tho, I remember when Pope John Paul II passed away. I lived next to the Catholic church downtown and was woken up by their bells. He was a liberal pope who hated commies. Good guy.

The new pope took a reversal on that policy and condemned mass consumerism.

I saw on BBC World News about the consideration of a new black pope. Could be interesting.

For those of you not in the up and up on your Catholic history, there have been three or four African popes back in the day. It wouldn't surprise me if a Latin American pope is strongly considered as well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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time for a chinese pope
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:17 PM   #16
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they have to reinforce where they're strong i guess

so a south american or african pope would make sense but i imagine they'd have to weigh the toll it may take on the base
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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Personally gonna miss the pope for this reason only.


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Old 02-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #18
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so does the pope have any real power? or is it just another useless position of power that has diminished just like the queen of england.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:56 PM   #19
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to think the queen or the pope have no power is comical :P
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #20
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they have to reinforce where they're strong i guess

so a south american or african pope would make sense but i imagine they'd have to weigh the toll it may take on the base
An Black African Pope would be cool. Just like how Obama became president. However, I wonder how much more racist attacks and threats will be though against a pope that is not of European background.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #21
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Politics........
Stress from politics ? He is 85 years old after all. Pope JP II died at 84.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #22
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about time they put the rabbit in power.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #23
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An Black African Pope would be cool. Just like how Obama became president. However, I wonder how much more racist attacks and threats will be though against a pope that is not of European background.
i looked up if there was ever a female pope...unknown
Pope Joan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #24
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so does the pope have any real power? or is it just another useless position of power that has diminished just like the queen of england.
Pope has more power and influence than the queen. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in the world with more than ONE BILLION followers. What he says, followers will listen.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:01 PM   #25
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so does the pope have any real power? or is it just another useless position of power that has diminished just like the queen of england.
Yes considerable power. Popes have killed so many Africans by telling them not to use condoms because it won't help prevent aids. That's fucking power.
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