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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:15 AM

So...the Pope is resigning...did any of YOU guys know this was coming?

Just wondering if there were any hints that this was possible in the homilies at Sunday Mass.

Also...reactions...I'm sure you'll have 'em.

Anybody know when the last time a Pontiff just said "I'm outta here" like that?

23 replies, 1608 views

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Reply So...the Pope is resigning...did any of YOU guys know this was coming? (Original post)
Ken Burch Feb 2013 OP
CurtEastPoint Feb 2013 #1
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #2
CurtEastPoint Feb 2013 #3
Fortinbras Armstrong Feb 2013 #5
mykpart Feb 2013 #14
CBHagman Feb 2013 #4
rug Feb 2013 #6
47of74 Feb 2013 #7
bananas Feb 2013 #8
Kingofalldems Feb 2013 #11
LeftInTX Feb 2013 #9
hedgehog Feb 2013 #10
47of74 Feb 2013 #12
demosincebirth Feb 2013 #13
47of74 Feb 2013 #16
demosincebirth Feb 2013 #18
47of74 Feb 2013 #19
mykpart Feb 2013 #15
Brigid Feb 2013 #17
Tor_Hershman Feb 2013 #20
TommyCelt Feb 2013 #21
No Vested Interest Feb 2013 #22
Pterodactyl Feb 2013 #23

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:38 AM

1. Last one to resign, Gregory XII in 1415.

Been a while.

This is good news. Hopefully the new pope will begin to right the wrongs.

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:54 AM

2. And that was an era of competing popes...the rival Pontiff was(weirdly enough)Benedict XIII

(THAT Benedict is now considered an antipope).

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:03 AM

3. I am picturing two pontiffs in the ring, duking (or poping) it out. LOL!

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:32 AM

5. At one point, there were three claimants to the papacy.

To understand it, we should start with the Avignon Papacy. The Avignon Papacy grew out of a fight that Pope Boniface VIII (reigned 1294-1303) was having with Philip IV of France (reigned 1285-1314) over money and power. To make a long and involved story short, Boniface lost. He was surprised by an army which took him prisoner, beat him severely and threatened him with execution. He died a month after this.

Boniface was succeeded by Pope Benedict XI, but Benedict died soon after his election (some say he was poisoned by the French). There followed an interregnum of nearly a year in which the cardinals and were evenly split between two candidates, one pro-Phillip, the other anti-Phillip. A French bishop, Bertrand de Goth, was finally elected as Clement V. Clement could not be called a French puppet, but he was certainly in the French orbit.

Clement chose Lyon for his coronation in November 1305, with Philip IV in attendance. One of his first acts was to create nine French cardinals.

In 1309, citing civil unrest in Rome -- the Basilica of St John Lateran, which is the cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, had been burnt in a riot -- Clement went to Avignon. Avignon was not French territory at the time (its ownership was disputed between the Pope and the King of Sicily), but it was surrounded by France. Now, it should be pointed out that having the Pope outside Rome was not unusual. For example, when Boniface was taken in 1303, he was in Anagni. However, what Clement did that was new was to move the papal bureaucracy, the Curia, to Avignon.

Clement was not one of the papal giants. He was primarily interested in rich living. To live well, of course, one needs money. Clement, and, even more, his successor, John XXII (reigned 1316-1334) were masters at raising funds. Simply put, everything was for sale: Bishoprics, cardinal's hats, abbacies, indulgences. John required every holder of a clerical office pay annates -- a tenth of all clerical income -- as well as the entire first year's income from any new office. Of course, the office holder had to support himself while paying this, so he would put the squeeze on those below him. Chaucer's Pardoner was an example of the worst sort of simony -- a priest selling absolution from sin.

I will pass over most of the other French popes who reigned in Avignon. One I should mention is Clement VI, formerly Archbishop of Rouen. He was so partisan in his support of French interests that he helped pay for some of Phillip IV's wars.

Finally Gregory XI (reigned 1370-1378) decided that the Pope should move back to Rome. After all, exactly one of the Avignon popes had seen the city since Clement V had left, and Urban V had stayed less than three years before returning to Avignon. There was major unrest in Italy and the Pope was in serious danger of losing political control in Italy unless he took a more direct hand in its politics. (Florence had been excommunicated in toto, and the Florentines not only stopped paying money to the Pope but also siezed any papal money going through Tuscany.) Catherine of Sienna, a genuinely saintly woman who had considerable influence in the Italian Church, repeatedly called for the return of the Pope to Rome.

Just about the first thing Gregory did when he got to Rome was die. The cardinals who accompanied Gregory to Rome, bowing to the requests of the Roman populace (generally expressed in the form of an angry mob clamoring outside the walls of the Vatican) for an Italian Pope, elected the Archbishop of Bari as Urban VI.

The French weren't happy with either the move back to Rome or to an Italian Pope. Five months after Urban's election, some French cardinals met in a town controlled by one of Urban's enemies and, claiming that they had been cowed by the mob into electing an Italian, elected Robert of Geneva as Clement VII. France, Scotland, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, Portugal, Savoy, Denmark, Norway, and parts of Germany acknowledged Clement.

Urban, who had made himself thoroughly unpopular through his arrogance and irascibility, was forced to flee to Nocera, from which he issued fulminations against Clement and Clement's strongest supporter, Charles II of Hungary (who was also King of Naples). Urban later went to Genoa and while leading an army towards Naples in 1389, fell off a mule with fatal results. He was succeeded by Piero Tomacelli who took the name Boniface IX. Boniface eventually regained control of Rome, but found it convenient to spend long periods of time in Umbria.

Clement quickly ran into problems with the Roman mob, and decided it was best to retreat to Avignon, where he spent the rest of his career practicing simony and selling papal land to support himself. He died in 1394 and was succeeded by the Spaniard Pedro de Luna as Benedict XIII.

Benedict, who was a genuinely good man, tried to reform the papal administration as best he could and cut back drastically on the simony. The result of this was that many of his cardinals and staff (and the King of France) withdrew their support. A French army occupied Avignon in 1398 and beseiged the papal palace. The seige ended in March 1403,when Benedict escaped to Anjou. After the seige was lifted, Benedict returned to Avignon.

No one was happy with two rival claimants to the papacy, each with claims which could be supported on some grounds and denied on others. So, Benedict attempted to open negotiations with the Roman pope, Boniface IX, about resolving the mess. Boniface's response was that Benedict should resign, admit Boniface's claim and retire to a monastery to do penance. Boniface died in 1404, and his successor, Innocent VII, was the first to make the suggestion that both popes should resign to make way for a man with an unsullied claim. Benedict balked at this and nothing came of it at that time. Innocent really didn't mean it either. Meanwhile, some theologians, particularly in Paris, were theorizing that popes were subject to ecumenical councils. This theory is called Conciliarism.

Innocent died suddenly in 1406 (the usual suspicions of foul play quickly arose). His successor, Gregory XII, was elected with the understanding that if his rival in Avignon resigned, he would do so as well. Gregory also promised not to name any additional cardinals, a promise he promptly broke.

In 1409, a group of cardinals, under murky circumstances, convened a council in Pisa to which both popes were invited. Neither came. This council declared both Boniface and Benedict deposed and elected their own man as Alexander V. Few took Alexander seriously, and he died in 1410. He was succeeded by Baldassare Cossa, who took the name John XXIII (not to be confused with the 20th century pope of the same name).

John called another council at Constance in 1415. Gregory, who was in poor health and by this time anxious to heal the split, acknowledged this council. When the council suggested that both John and Gregory abdicate, they each did. The council then elected Odo Colonna as Martin V.

Abdication was also suggested to Benedict, but he rejected it. By that time, however, just about everyone rejected Benedict, who fled to a castle in Valencia, where he died, excommunicate, alone and forgotten in 1423. Two of his small band of followers each proclaimed himself pope but one of them eventually submitted to Martin, who gave him a bishopric, and the other went into hiding near Tolouse. The former John XXII became Archbishop of Florence and Gregory died quietly in the Marche two years after he resigned.

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:34 AM

14. Ah! I see a revival of Celebrity Death Match!

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:35 AM

4. Not even a bit of post-Mass gossip.

I'm friends with one priest, follow another on Facebook, and know a few others, but no one I know, clergy or laity, has so much as speculated on this.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:04 AM

6. No, this was a decision made by him alone with a small inner circle.

For all the snark about red shoes and palaces, his schedule would tax a man thirty years younger.

Not counting the resignations in the fifteenth century to end the political western schism, the last Pope to resign was Pope Saint Celestine V who lived his last years as a hermit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Celestine_V

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:29 AM

7. I thought it was a joke at first

Usually the Pope hangs on until the bitter end so it was a surprise. I first heard it and I thought it was some sort of joke. I had to head to the Googles to confirm it.

Hopefully the next guy will do better, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:32 AM

8. Malachy Prophecies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with the successor of current pope Benedict XVI, a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

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Response to bananas (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:16 PM

11. So if the next Pope is Italian and his name

is Peter or Pietro---we should be worried.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:47 PM

9. No

The timing of this is very suspect, to me...

If it is health, why during Lent?
He can't be that sick

If he wants to go out quietly, Ordinary Time is preferred.
If I am correct, Ordinary Time begins after Pentecost.

Even John Paul II hung on till after Easter.

This means they will be selecting a pope during Lent.
The church used to forbid marriage ceremonies during Lent, and they still discourage it.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:27 PM

10. I am wondering about the timing myself -

I have to figure a small group is behind this and has already selected the next Pope. The question is, why now? What is going to change between now and Pentecost that they decided to move today? Even if Benedict is in such poor health he is likely to die before Easter, that would not be a reason to move the conclave forward.

It's unfortunate that discussions of this event involve looking for conspiracies and secrets, but that's what happens when the government of the Church follows the model of a Renaissance court!

BTW - Dolan is clearly not an insider on this one:

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50768373#50768373

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:26 PM

12. I'm glad that Law has no part in the next conclave

He's 81 so he won't be voting in this one.

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Response to 47of74 (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:47 PM

13. He is 88, I think.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:19 PM

16. Nope, 81.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:33 PM

19. I was talking about Cardinal Law

Bernard Cardinal Law was born on November 4, 1931, making him just over 81 years old.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:01 AM

15. I remember when he was elected.

Word then was that he was chosen in part because of his advanced age. The Cardinals had never supposed that John Paul would reign as many years as he did, and they wanted to make sure that didn't happen again. Not reallly sure I understand that logic. Anyway, it seems ironic that his age is the reason he gives for abdicating. Also I see a parallel between all the cardinals he has appointed and FDR packing the supreme court. And the conclave seems to me to be much more political than spiritual, which is a shame, so the chances of getting a more progressive pontiff this time are pretty slim. That said, I still believe firmly in the power of prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit, so I encourage everyone to pray for a wise and true pope.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:28 PM

17. Didn't see this coming.

But at least the Pope had the wisdom to understand that if he is no longer able to carry out the duties of his office, it is time to step down.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:41 PM

20. Pope Guy

 

My sources tell me that after the Pope opened his official YouTube channel, he saw this video
" target="_blank">
and it inspired him to consider retirement.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:07 PM

21. Surprised!

Especially after John Paul II's extended health decline. If Benedict can't handle the job any longer it's better that he steps down. There had been rumblings in the Italian press that B16 was in the early stages of Alzheimer's (no link, sorry); if that is true it is FAR better he's stepping down. Canon law precludes retirement from a Pope if he is not of sound mind (I wonder if that had anything to do with JPII staying on....)

Anyway, I find the sede vacante and conclave an extraordinarily exciting time. The fact we don't have to mourn a deceased Holy Father makes it even better this time around. I am NO fan of Benedict, make no mistake...but he's the Pope nonetheless. Soon to be Cardinal emeritus Joseph Ratzinger once again.

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Response to TommyCelt (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:44 AM

22. Welcome to the Catholicism & Orthodox Christianity Group.

Discussion always welcome.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:05 PM

23. I was completely shocked; I did not see this coming.

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