Papal Transition

Precedent and sacrifice: Papal decision offers options for future

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For a Catholic so aware of the importance of tradition, even traditions with a small “t,” Pope Benedict XVI had to know he was setting a precedent by resigning. “This development will offer options that maybe were not too obvious before this courageous decision of Pope Benedict,” said U.S. Cardinal Edwin […]

On Ash Wednesday, pope preaches on humility, Christian unity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating what was expected to be the last public liturgy of his pontificate two weeks before his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI preached on the virtues of humility and Christian unity and heard his highest-ranking aide pay tribute to his service to the church. Jesus “denounces religious hypocrisy, behavior that wants to […]

Pope Benedict adds few farewells to his original February schedule

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With the exception of a special farewell meeting with members of the College of Cardinals Feb. 28 and separate meetings with the prime minister and president of Italy, the Vatican confirmed Pope Benedict XVI's original schedule for late February.

Sadness, celebration mark pope’s first public event since announcement

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Sadness and celebration marked Pope Benedict XVI’s first public appearance since announcing Feb. 11 that he was stepping down. Compared to his other public events, this time the chants and cheers had more punch; loud, long supportive applause erupted more often, and the singing had the air of adieu. Some 7,000 […]

Pope Benedict thanks faithful, asks them to pray for next pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At his first public appearance since he announced that he would resign at the end of February, Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their love and prayers and asked them to pray for his successor. “I have felt, almost physically in these days — which haven’t been easy for me […]

Pope Benedict has made 24 trips outside Italy during pontificate

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although traveling the globe was a hallmark of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, who when elected was not expected to do too much traveling, logged a lot of miles during his own pontificate. The pope, who announced his resignation Feb. 11, made 24 trips to six continents outside Italy in […]

Benedict will be prayerful presence in next papacy, spokesman says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even though Pope Benedict XVI will spend his retirement near Rome and then inside Vatican City, he will not play any role in the upcoming election for a new pope, and he will not interfere with the responsibilities and decision-making activities of the new pontiff, the Vatican spokesman said.

Pope to live in Vatican monastery established by Blessed John Paul

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican monastery where Pope Benedict XVI intends to live began its life as the Vatican gardener’s house, but was established as a cloistered convent by Blessed John Paul II in 1994. When Pope Benedict, 85, announced Feb. 11 that his age and declining energies prompted his decision to resign effective […]

In hindsight, Pope Benedict’s resignation seems almost predictable

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As much as he astonished the world when he announced his resignation Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI’s decision seems almost predictable in hindsight. Given his previous statements on the subject and his recent signs of aging, one might say that people should have seen it coming. The real mystery now is […]

Pope Benedict’s pontificate marked by teaching, call to return to faith

Citing his age and diminishing energy, the 85-year-old pope announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning effective Feb. 28 and would devote the rest of his life to prayer. As pastor of the universal church, he used virtually every medium at his disposal — books and Twitter, homilies and encyclicals — to catechize the […]