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Everything listed under: Benedict

  • Update on secrecy, cardinals summoned to Rome


              Journalists at today's Vatican briefing

    It looks like next Monday is going to mark a showdown on the transparency issue in the run-up to the conclave.

    That's the day cardinals begin their twice-daily "general congregations," meetings that will provide a forum for discussion of church priorities and offer cardinals a chance to size up potential papal candidates.

    It's also the day of the first scheduled briefing on the general congregations, for the hundreds of reporters who are in Rome for the papal transition. The type of information provided to journalists on Monday will probably set the tone for coming days.

    Sources today said Vatican communications officials expect to furnish at least generic summaries of the main themes covered in the cardinals' conversations -- but without naming names. In other words, we may be told, for example, that the subject of the church's relations with Islam drew some strong proposals, but we won't be told who made them.

    Likewise, the cardinals are expected to be told by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to be very careful in talking with reporters and others about the content of their meetings, and to avoid identifying individual speakers. This would, of course, make it more difficult to identify protagonists (and potential candidates).

    If history is any guide, U.S. cardinals will probably follow the rules to the letter, while others -- particularly Italians -- may take a more flexible approach.


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  • Benedict pledges 'unconditional obedience' to next pope

    A few hours before his resignation, Pope Benedict sought to reassure cardinals and the rest of the church on two important points. First, he said that the church is a "living reality" that can transform itself and adapt to modern times without changing its fundamental identity, which is found in Christ. The message here was that while papal resignation marks a shift in the office of the papacy, it does not mark a break with the church's core mis...  Read More...

  • The pope's heartfelt goodbye -- and a nod to the Curia


      More than 100,000 came for the pope's farewell

    Those waiting for Pope Benedict to open his heart on the question of his resignation were not disappointed today.

    In his final general audience, the day before he abdicates the papal throne, the pope spoke in an unusually personal way about his decision and offered a frank assessment of his pontificate – both the moments of joy and moments of “rough waters.”

    His words appeared designed to counter the popular media image of a discouraged and defeated pope who felt let down by the top officials of the Roman Curia.

    He went out of his way, in fact, to thank the Curia, in particular the secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who has been seen by many observers as a big part of the problem when it comes to Curia tensions and infighting.

    Benedict also expressed gratitude to the many Vatican employees who “remain in the shadows, but who precisely in their silence and daily dedication … have been for me a sure and trusted support.”

    Speaking to an overflow and enthusiastic crowd in St. Peter’s Square, the pope took issue with what has become a dominant narrative in the media: that of a pontiff so frustrated with the problems of church governance and ill-served by his aides that he felt constrained to leave the scene.


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  • "His Holiness Benedict XVI, pope emeritus"


      Pope Benedict will trade in his famous red shoes

    The Vatican today answered some of the nagging questions hanging over the papal resignation, including the title Pope Benedict will carry after he leaves office.

    “His Holiness Benedict XVI, pope emeritus” or “Roman pontiff emeritus” is the proper way to address the retired pope, the Jesuit spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, told reporters.

    On a practical level, it’s an issue that few people are expected to face, since the pope has said he plans to live behind the Vatican walls and avoid public appearances.

    Father Lombardi said the pope would wear a “simple white cassock” after retiring. His famous red shoes will be set aside in favor of a pair of brown shoes he was given last year in Leon, Mexico – a city known for its footwear industry.

    As expected, Benedict’s fisherman ring and the seal of his pontificate will be destroyed; how and when will be determined by the College of Cardinals.


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