Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigns

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, 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.
The last time a pope resigned was in 1415. Pope Gregory XII did so to end the Western Schism, at a time when there were three claimants to the papacy.

Stalin memorably asked, apropos influence, how many divisions the Pope had.

The Soviet Union lasted from 1922 to 1991. Just short of three score years and ten.
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