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Benedict XVI pledges obedience to his successor

By on Thursday, 28 February 2013

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the College of Cardinals on the final day of his papacy (Photo: CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the College of Cardinals on the final day of his papacy (Photo: CNS)

The Clementine Hall is traditionally the place where cardinals bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually when the Pope in question is lying in state before his funeral.

But today, hours before resigning from the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI briefly addressed the College of Cardinals, calling for unity and harmony among the men who will choose his successor and pledging his “unconditional reverence and obedience” to the next pope.

Pope Benedict addressed 144 cardinals, including many of the 115 under the age of 80 who are eligible and expected to vote in the upcoming conclave.

“I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next days, that you may be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope,” Pope Benedict told the gathering in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. “May the Lord show you what is wanted of you. Among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope, to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.”

The cardinals are expected to begin meeting on Monday to plan the papal election.

Looking back on his almost eight-year pontificate, Pope Benedict recalled “very beautiful moments of radiant light on the path of the Church, together with moments in which the occasional cloud thickened in the sky”.

The Pope invoked God’s help in building unity, “so that the College of Cardinals might be like an orchestra, where diversities, expressive of the universal Church, always run together to a superior and harmonious concord”.

Pope Benedict also recalled the previous day’s general audience in St Peter’s Square, attended by an estimated 150,000 people, saying that the gathering demonstrated that the “Church is a living body, animated by the Holy Spirit, and truly lives by the strength of God”.

Referring to the work of the late German theologian Fr Romano Guardini, the Pope said the Church keeps alive the mystery of the incarnation since its members “offer to God their own flesh and, in their very poverty and humility, become capable of generating Christ today in the world”.

The cardinals responded with a standing ovation.

Prior to the Pope’s remarks, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, addressed a short tribute to the departing Pontiff, whose resignation is scheduled to take effect this evening.

“With great trepidation the cardinal fathers present in Rome rally around you today to show once again their profound affection and express to you their deep gratitude for your witness of self-denying apostolic service, for the good of the Church of Christ and all humanity,” the cardinal said.

Cardinal Sodano concluded his remarks with a German expression, “Vergelt’s Gott”: “May God reward you!”

Following the brief ceremony, Pope Benedict received individual greetings from the assembled cardinals and from officials of the Roman Curia, the Church’s central administration at the Vatican. Most kissed the Pope’s ring, with some also genuflecting before they exchanged a few words with the pope; a few were brought up in wheelchairs.

Some cardinals handed the Pope what appeared to be personal notes or small presents; Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, one of Pope Benedict’s former students, gave him a book.

  • jae

    B16 pledges unconditional reverence and obedience to the next Pope, indeed a great humility!

  • No more NO!

    “B16 pledges unconditional reverence and obedience to the next Pope”

    Yes, no doubt that will be a Cardinal who refused to obey HIM. 

    Ah!  The profound wonders of the Papacy!  There are many former heretics who the Holy Spirit altered into God respecting Orthodox Traditionalists once they had ascended to the Throne of St Peter. Proof that Our Lord Jesus Christ, Divine Son of God, really DOES run the Church through the Papacy.

    El Papa Benedict Himself, was not always so Traditional.  He can be seen wearing a shirt and tie when he attended the Vatican Council

    Let’s hope the Holy Spirit has His eye upon raising a raving Liberal to the most elevated Office next. – We could do with one less Modernist in the High Ranks of the Church.

    JUST OBEY THE NEXT PONTIFF EVERYONE – PLEASE!! It’s GOD’S Church, to be run in the style and manner that HE decrees – what we personally wish is irrelevant.  Any who in future do not feel they wish to obey His Holy Vicar, should in all honesty accept they are Protestants and leave the Church.

  • Amkennedypayen

    PRECISELY !!!

  • Monica

    What a truly great pope Benedict is! Sadly, he has been betrayed and disobeyed by some of his closest allies, at least if we are to believe what several well informed catholics in the media are reporting.
    We just won´t see a pope so brilliantly gifted again, at least not in our life time, maybe not in several hundred(?) years. Of course,  I trust the Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals and that the next pope will be a good choice. Still, pope Benedict will always have a very special place in my heart.
    A great and wonderful pontificate.

    Monica

  • bube

    MAY THE LORD JESUS BE WITH HIS CHURCH AS ALWAYS,MAY THE HOLY SPIRIT ENLIGHTEN THE CARDINALS THAT THEY APPOINT THE RIGHT PERSON A THE NEW POPE.THANK YOU BENEDICT MAY GOD HELP YOU IN YOUR NEW LIFE

  • Evington Sanyatwe

    May all His work be sown for an eternal harvest. All the Best in Life Our Loved, Venerable Holy Father!

  • Paul George

     Exodus 19:5
    Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,
    then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all
    the earth is mine:Deuteronomy 11:1
    Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and
    his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.Psalms 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought you: O let me not wander from your commandments.Matthew 7:21
    Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
    of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.John 14:21
    He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me:
    and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him,
    and will manifest myself to him.John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself
    against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought
    to the obedience of Christ;Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.Ephesians 6:6 Not with eye-service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;Philemon 1:21 Having confidence in your obedience I wrote to you, knowing that you will also do more than I say.1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.2 John 1:6
    And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the
    commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk
    in it.Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

  • BASIL CHUKWUDI NWOKORIE

    THE PAPA HAS DEMONSTRATED HONESTY TO, FIRST, HIMSELF, AND SECONDLY TO THE WORLD, THAT HE IS UNABLE, HUMANLY, TO CARRY ON. I STRONGLY PRAY THAT NO ONE SHOULD RAISE NEEDLESS CONTROVERSIES OVER THE REASON WHY HE RESIGNED. LETS LET SLEEPING DOG LIE WHILE LOOKING UP TO GOD FOR HELP IN OUR DIFFICULT TIMES AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

    -BASIL CHUKWUDI NWOKORIE,-
    Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

  • ANSLEMNWACHUKWU

    WITH HIS PLEDGE TO OBEY THE NEW POPE ,POPE BENEDICT HAVE SHOWN HOW DEEP HE LOVES THE CHURCH MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD CONTINUE TO KEEP HIM ALIVE SO THAT HE GAVE THE NEW POPE ADVICE WHEN NEEDED.