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Pope Benedict XVI To Resign

Pope Benedict XVI concludes the weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Panetta was in the front row at Wednesday's weekly general audience in the Vatican auditorium. Panetta, a staunch Catholic, is in Rome as part of a weeklong swing across Europe, meeting with defense ministers to talk about ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Mali. This is expected to be Panetta's last overseas trip as Pentagon chief, as he long has planned to step down once his replacement is confirmed. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Pope Benedict XVI concludes the weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Panetta was in the front row at Wednesday’s weekly general audience in the Vatican auditorium. Panetta, a staunch Catholic, is in Rome as part of a weeklong swing across Europe, meeting with defense ministers to talk about ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Mali. This is expected to be Panetta’s last overseas trip as Pentagon chief, as he long has planned to step down once his replacement is confirmed. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Citing his advanced age, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he is resigning from the papacy at the end of the month. He is the first pontiff to resign the office in six centuries.

You can read the full text of the Pope’s announcement here.

Guests

Monica Brady-Myerov, WBUR reporter.

Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman professor of Roman Catholic Theological Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. He was also a student of Pope Benedict.

Mathew Schmalz, associate professor at Holy Cross. You can find his article on the Pope’s resignation here.

More

Boston Globe “Experts on the Roman Catholic Church said today they do not expect Cardinal Sean O’Malley to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, but do expect to a Vatican insider capable of unifying the fractured church and to build bridges with other major faiths to become the next leader of the 1 billion member church. Boston College theology professor Thomas Groome, author of “What Makes Us Catholic,’’ said in an interview this morning that the resignation by Benedict XVI will be a major part of his legacy for the church.”

Washington Post “Letting go allows for the operation of the Holy Spirit, for it is by recognizing our own limitations we find, paradoxically, the power to transcend them. But there are also more worldly implications to the process of letting of go in this particular case. By giving up the papacy in this way, and at this time, Benedict will have the opportunity to shape the choice of his successor.”

Slate “His career beginnings were inauspicious. The German-born leader of the Catholic Church grew up under the Third Reich, and like all boys of his era, was compelled tojoin the Hitler Youth as a teenager.”

 


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