Pope Benedict XVI is to resign as head of the Catholic Church on February 28, The Vatican has revealed.
Pope Benedict said in a statement that his strength is no longer adequate to continue in office due to old age, according to Reuters.
He said he was “fully aware of the gravity of this gesture”.
The 85-year-old becomes the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years
He announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.
A Vatican official said the period between Pope Benedict’s resignation and the election of his successor will be “as brief as possible.”
According to the Vatican Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 and was the 265th Pope.
Ratzinger was 78 when he was elected to become Pope in April 2005 and succeeded John Paul II.
In a statement released by the Catholic Church, Benedict VXI said that “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.”
There is little doubt that the precise timing of the resignation was to influence Benedict’s personal choice for the succession, and to provide a strong man to work towards solving the problems of Europe.
Conclave’s for papal succession must take place no sooner than 14 days and no later than 21 days after a pope dies or resigns.
Presently half of all cardinal-electors (67 out of 125) are Europeans. A full quarter of those voting would be Italians.
All of the elector-Cardinals were appointed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI and will have their doctrinal positions consistent with these two men. Cardinals lose their vote after age 80.
The possible new pope.
Cardinal Angelo Scola Archbishop of Milan, is a strong contender who is focused on Europe.
The most likely next pope is Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, elevated to cardinal in 2010 and head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is so smart, says Allen, “if you were picking a quiz bowl team in the College of Cardinals, most people would start with Ravasi.” Allen calls him “a master communicator who could take the world by storm. He can ignite rich, solid commitment to Catholic orthodoxy without ever coming off as a scold.” The Italian-born Biblical scholar has the advantage of being based in Rome. Cardinals in the curia at Rome get to meet many of the electors that cardinals in far-flung posts scarcely know.
Also well worth watching is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, aged 68, a direct disciple of John Paul II, is also very close to Benedict XVI. Very charismatic, he is also very controversial in the Roman curia, because he was the only cardinal who dared to challenge the policy of silence on cases of pedophilia.
Cardinal Torcisio Bertone will be interim pope, he has been a powerful force behind the coming new Federal Europe. Pope Benedict was also a Vatican Secretary of State and interim pope befor his own election.
Cardinal Bertone is a key figure in putting together the new federal Europe. He is now considered to be too old at 77 for the papacy, and may want to work from behind the scenes in bringing Europe together as a buffer between East and West in the name of Peace. With the new pope intervening when everything is set to become reality.
Cardinal Bertone is the most skilled Vatican politician and the man most responsible for the appointment by Benedict of a large bloc of Italian elector-Cardinals, they all owe loyalty to him and he knows where every body is buried. If he throws his weight behind someone they will have a solid chance of being chosen.
Who will become the next pope to continue building the new federal Europe through the Catholic “Christian Democratic” parties and Catholic influence in Europe? to be empowered to do miracles and set up as the abomination in the near future?
The new pope will either die, resign himself, or be empowered to do miracles at the appointed time, as the final abomination, in the near future.
Israel: After being briefed by Chief of Staff Gantz, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak raced off to Washington today for further consultations with American military and intelligence officials.
Israeli planes continue to violate Lebanese air space, as Israeli forces dig new artillery emplacements on the Lebanese border.
The Palestinian Election Committee has opened its offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to begin the process of voter registration, should Fatah and Hamas agree on a date for the future Palestinian elections.