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Archdiocese of Atlanta Reacts to Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation [VIDEO]

His resignation will go into effect on Feb. 28, and a successor should be named by Easter.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he is resigning, effective Feb. 28.

Archdiocese of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory held a press conference this afternoon in Smyrna to address questions and concerns.

“This announcement has sparked widespread surprise but also a great outpouring of prayers and affection for the Holy Father. His stated reasons for resigning are his frailty as a result of age and his desire to make sure that the Church has a Pontiff with the energy and stamina to carry on the heavy burdens that come with the Office of Pope. Characteristically of the Holy Father was the humility of the statement and the pastoral love expressed for the Church that has prompted his decision,” stated Archbishop Gregory.

Calling for prayer, Archbishop Gregory said, “I ask all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to keep the Holy Father in prayer and the College of Cardinals who will be summoned to Rome to exercise their unique function in electing a new Pope according to a time-frame that will be announced.”

The pope's resignation letter reads in part:

"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... in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me..."

Pope Benedict XVI, born in 1927 in Bavaria as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, is the 265th pope. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, in 1415.

How do you feel about Pope Benedict XVI's resignation? What impact will this have on your life?

"E Pluribus Unum" February 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM
This has not been my favorite Pope. I am not happy with what I consider a retreat from Vatican II. I also am concerned about his handling of the religious order of Nuns and other women laity. I really pray we have a more moderate Pope elected.
Young Pretender February 12, 2013 at 12:30 AM
I was very saddened to hear this news, since Benedict XVI has been my favorite Pope (out of the four Popes who have reigned during my lifetime). I think he has been a great example in that he is a prayerful man who gives truthful and compelling sermons. His writings have been poignant (check out the Jesus of Nazareth series), his dialogue with other faiths (Anglicans, Orthodox Christians, separated Catholics) has been productive, and he has been engaged in challenging the world and its leaders. Some say that his inability to travel extensively was a major factor in his decision, e.g. World Youth Day is coming up this Summer in Brazil, and he might have felt that the Pope HAD to be there. I would have loved to see him serve until a holy death, but I am sure he has good reasons for his decision.
Smyrnan February 12, 2013 at 02:44 AM
He's a wonderful man. Before he was elected Pope Ratzinger was put in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (once known as the Inquisition). The Pope at that time put that organization in charge of investigating child abuse by priests. He sent every bishop a letter stating the magnititude of a crime. The crime being speaking of child abuse by priests OUTSIDE of the Vatican. Wonderful man..
Rob February 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Now I have to ask, why would a protestant, gender identity disordered troll, possibly care what the most powerful man on the planet does, has done, or will do? Je vous aime toujours?? I don`t think so....
jMichael February 12, 2013 at 03:41 PM
The last papal resignation, that of Celestine V in 1294, was followed by centuries of papal humiliation, war, famine, plague, Avignon, schism, the exposure of a rank Church corruption and hypocrisy, a precipitous decline in Church authority and, in 1517, a come-uppance that for all time since has rendered Christianity a fractured, fractious, and feeble circus of competing claims to piety, privilege, and pomp. Today, papal authority is but a wistful whimsy except for the desperation of its African sheep. The Vatican, having protected – even encouraged – misogyny, boy-diddling, Jew-baiting, and gay-bashing under the guise of “tradition”, or “larger-picture, or the convenient reading Leviticus and other sick rants, is to no one’s mind but the chained anything but a preposterous prank. We pray, O Heavenly Father, that but for the war, famine, and plague, Your intercession is again manifest, and that this time you finish the job. Write the final chapter to the pretense of papal dignity, decency, and design, cast into The Darkness these pretenders to piety and the institutions erected to smith their halos, open the hearts of your Faithful Servants to Your Word alone, and protect us from these idolatries of human construction. Your Faithful Servant et cetera, et cetera, et cetera
jimmie February 12, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I think Michael is what you may call a misguided human wholly under the influence of the prince of darkness..I'll pray for you buddy...
Smyrnan February 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Addendum: And stop the Vatican from laundering (drug) money through its bank.
Terry Lapierre February 12, 2013 at 05:47 PM
The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, in 1415, at age 89.
jMichael February 12, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Thanks for your comment, Terry. Scholars of Church history tend not to regard the events of 1415 as "resignation"; this because Gregory XII's was a forced abdication; not a voluntary resignation. The abdication was concocted to bring closure to The Western Schism of 1378-1415, a schism that boasted two (and for a brief period, three) rivals to pretense. Still, I won't quibble. Incidentally, upon Celestine's resignation, he quipped that no man could be both "good" and "pope" at the same time. His successor, Boniface VIII was, quite naturally, rather piqued by this parting bon mot. Further, because Celestine was a genuinely pious (rather than political) animal, his acclaim only increased upon his resignation. The Bonney Boniface, piqued and now jealous, threatened and feeling totally insecure, had Celestine (now again merely Pietro da Maronne) hunted down, arrested, and imprisoned. His suspicious death shortly thereafter, convenient as it was to Boniface VIII, attracted a great deal of finger-pointing. Poor Boniface... a political hack, red in tooth and claw, waving his crosier like some talisman of Grace and Purity, had a rather unhappy reign. Dante, much to his credit, placed Boniface in the Eighth Circle of Hell (between Violence and Treachery)... Dante, I would aver, was being generous.
don Gabacho February 12, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Stop also US dioceses in the US from receiving and employing (questionable) sisterhoods from (and headquartered) south of the border, their backroom receipt of US faith-based (so-called) educational grants, their establishing way-stations (posing as charity) for illegals sent from south of the border and proceeding, as instructed (and even coerced) by the MxGov, to predesignated stateside consulates---and those consulate's (so-called) "jurisdictions"---and accepting, in fact, any sister and priest from south of the boder. At least until they register themsleves with the USAG as agents of a foreign power. In all, stop its mantra promoting "immigration" even when serving, as it does, the export of labor for profit, and, by the church, uninvestigated disguise for colonization.
don Gabacho February 12, 2013 at 08:03 PM
PS: "..the export of labor for profit..." as in the interception of the billions of US dollars in remittances long being sent (and being sapped from US circulation and, thus, 'the economy') to their rightful recipients by most essentially, the MxGov, and its substitution of those dollars in pesos, in dole outs, representing profit to the MxGov in both the unearned income of dollars thus "captured" by, and for, the MxGov and, if it were not enough, any addtional unearned income derived from the "irregulatites" pertaining to the rates of exchange applied to the dole outs by the MxGov and favoring the MxGov. Similarly, the MxGov's allied Latino governments.
don Gabacho February 12, 2013 at 08:18 PM
"Scholars of Church history tend not to regard the events of 1415 as "resignation"; this because Gregory XII's was a forced abdication; not a voluntary resignation. The abdication was concocted to bring closure to The Western Schism of 1378-1415, a schism that boasted two (and for a brief period, three) rivals to pretense. "---James Michael Correct. I was astonished by the media's claim that (though not refering to it particularly) that abdication was a "resignation." "Still, I won't quibble." The Church has an unprecedented dilemma on its hands. Thus the College of Cardinals will be called to convene but not necessarily to quickly elect a new Pope as it appears the Vatican may require time to study its theological body of law. What is alarming is the report of "the theft of documents from the Pope's desk by a trusted butler." And thus the suddeness of the resignation? Could the info of those documents have been incriminating? Requiring, as it has been reported probable, the isolation of the Pope in a cloister within the Vatican?
don Gabacho February 12, 2013 at 08:53 PM
How about this human? "Anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with Church dogma must be burned without pity." - Pope Innocent III
jMichael February 12, 2013 at 09:03 PM
That’s the really interesting thing about Benedict’s “resignation”, isn’t it? First, the butler-purloined documents; then Benedict’s declaration that papal resignation is canonical (a pointed nod to the fact that papal resignation is suspect in canon law), and then - trumpets blaring "Lo and Behold" - the resignation. What is in those purloined documents? Perhaps Lindsey Graham can hold new papal election hostage until those docs are produced. Perhaps…
jMichael February 12, 2013 at 09:06 PM
@ don Gabacho: That’s the really interesting thing about Benedict’s “resignation”, isn’t it? First, the butler-purloined documents; .then Benedict’s declaration that papal resignation is canonical (a pointed nod to the fact that papal resignation is suspect in canon law), and then - trumpets blaring "Lo and Behold" - the resignation. What was in those purloined documents? Perhaps Lindsey Graham can hold new papal election hostage until those docs are produced. Perhaps…
jMichael February 13, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Yup. It's damage-control. Benedict, as Ratzinger, was in on Mahoney's boys-for-priests sex syndicate... every sordid, depraved step of the way. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/pope-benedict-stepping-down-shocking-abdication
Young Pretender February 14, 2013 at 01:19 AM
@James Michael - Why would an American archbishop (already an outsider by being American) announce to his superiors that many of the priests whom he recruited and trained were pedophiles? I know it's more interesting to speculate about the conspiracy, but bishops have a lot of power in their home diocese, and very little contact with Rome on a regular basis. American bishops have been ignoring church teachings on any number of topics for centuries: liturgical rubrics, contraception, slavery, etc. I would also point out that, but for the Popes' defense of Christian doctrine through the centuries, most of the crimes that you impugn them with (diddling, etc.) would not be considered crimes at all. It's hard for us to look at the Church with an objective eye, because we often take for granted all of the gifts received through its safeguarding and nurturing of Western Civilization.
Rob February 14, 2013 at 03:20 AM
"and very little contact with Rome on a regular basis" You are a very uninformed person, especially for a troll....
jMichael February 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM
The setup, YP, was that Ratzinger led the Papal Congregation for the Doctrine of The Faith, the Vatican Office responsible for dealing with "such matters". Ample documentation uncovered during the Mahoney investigation shows that Mahoney kept Ratzinger in the loop every step of the way. Ratzinger fully concurred in Mahoney's "methods" for dispatching the diddlers, rapists, and fellators, including Mahoney's favorite trick whereby the creeps were quietly sent to different parishes where, lucky for them, there'd be a whole new supply of innocent young meat upon whom to prey while praying. And when Mahoney saw fit to ship a diddler off for "pastoral counseling" it was to a state chosen specifically for its lack of laws requiring reports of abuse. Holy Mother the Church was a pederastic sex syndicate. Mahoney and Ratzinger made sure that, by stealth, the sordid and depraved destruction of young lives could perpetuate itself. Pity the children. Let the law dispatch with the crime bosses. Let Dante dispatch with Cardinal and Pope.
don Gabacho February 14, 2013 at 04:27 PM
"That’s the really interesting thing about Benedict’s “resignation”, isn’t it?"---JamesMichael Overly PC, I've been having to consider the media being unessarily polite. That "the resignation" is actually a forced abdication.
don Gabacho February 14, 2013 at 04:30 PM
"What was in those purloined documents?"---JamesMichael I had to do an i-net search; for starters goto: Vatileaks scandal - "He claimed to have stolen the documents to fight 'evil and corruption' and put the..."
don Gabacho February 15, 2013 at 07:00 PM
"Yup. It's damage-control."---JamesMichael A German (digital) news broadcast yesterday showed the Vatican spokesman, Lombardi, saying that ex-Pope Benedict had started speaking about "resigning" upon his return to the Vatican from Mexico last March where Benedict did not meet with abuse victims (as he did for others during trips abroad) despite knowing, as Cardinal Ratzinger, about the numerous complaints against "Father Marcial Maciel, founder of Legionaries of Christ.'" The MxGov and Mexico's bishops didn't want those meetings. Mexico's image must always be unblemished. And thus thier apparently having their pedophile priests removed from Mx (via the LA ArchBishop) to the states; and, of course, their wanting, in lieu of Benedict's original election and still, the election of their "Lord Cardinal Rivera Carrera."
"E Pluribus Unum" February 15, 2013 at 07:34 PM
JamesMichael, I have enjoyed reading your well written and expressed thoughts. I heard someone mention this Pope was about 1500 years too late in coming and that he tried to lead the Church in that mindset.
Rob February 15, 2013 at 07:36 PM
And you are quite horrible at drying to disguise yourself.....

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