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February 11th, 2013
06:00 PM ET

Church divided over Pope's legacy

CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Sister Simone Campbell and Brian Finnerty about the pope's resignation.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

February 11th, 2013
05:57 PM ET

Papal news stuns Mexican faithful

CNN's Nick Parker reports on the stunned reaction of Mexican Catholics to the pope's sudden resignation.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Mexico • Pope Benedict XVI

February 11th, 2013
05:56 PM ET

Brazil's Catholics look to the future

Shasta Darlington reports on the struggles of the Catholic Church in Brazil to keep the young interested.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Brazil • Catholic Church

Why pope will be remembered for generations
Pope Benedict XVI, pictured in a 2005 World Youth Day Mass in Germany, will go down in history for more than his resignation.
February 11th, 2013
04:42 PM ET

Why pope will be remembered for generations

By Timothy Stanley, Special to CNN
 
Editor's note: Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of "The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."

(CNN) - Journalists have a habit of calling too many things "historic" - but on this occasion, the word is appropriate. The Roman Catholic Church is run like an elected monarchy, and popes are supposed to rule until death; no pope has stepped down since 1415.

Therefore, it almost feels like a concession to the modern world to read that Benedict XVI is retiring on grounds of ill health, as if he were a CEO rather than God's man on Earth. That's highly ironic considering that Benedict will be remembered as perhaps the most "conservative" pope since the 1950s - a leader who tried to assert theological principle over fashionable compromise.

The word "conservative" is actually misleading, and the monk who received me into the Catholic Church in 2006 - roughly a year after Benedict began his pontificate - would be appalled to read me using it. In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error. As such, Benedict would understand the more controversial stances that he took as pope not as "turning back the clock" but as asserting a living tradition that had become undervalued within the church. His success in this regard will be felt for generations to come.

FULL STORY

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

Why did the Pope resign?
February 11th, 2013
02:26 PM ET

Why did the Pope resign?

By Eric Marrapodi CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN)–The questions reverberated from the Vatican to every corner of the Catholic world and left a billion members scratching their heads over something not seen since 1415 - why is the pope resigning now?

Pope Benedict XVI, 85, said Monday that it was because of his age.

"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," he read in Latin to a group of cardinals gathered to examine causes for canonization.

The pressures may well have been too much for him to bear. As pope he was the bishop of Rome, the head of a tiny country, and spiritual shepherd to a billion people.

'[I]n 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 barque 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," he continued in his statement.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

Could the next pope be from Africa or Latin America?
February 11th, 2013
01:18 PM ET

Could the next pope be from Africa or Latin America?

By Eric Marrapodi and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

(CNN) – Hours after Pope Benedict XVI's resignation announcement Monday, speculation was surging over who might be his successor and what part of the world the new pontiff could be from.

The 118 cardinals who will pick the next pope are also in the running for the job. Those cardinals are from around the globe, but more than half of them hail from European nations, according to Vatican statistics.

Worldwide, the demographic trends among the Roman Catholic Church's nearly 1.2 billion members show a different breakdown, with the church seeing only a trickle of new members in Europe, while membership has grown significantly in Africa.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • South America

February 11th, 2013
08:08 AM ET

Choosing Pope Benedict XVI's successor

CNN Belief Blog editor Eric Marrapodi on the next steps in choosing a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

Facts about Pope Benedict XVI
February 11th, 2013
07:58 AM ET

Facts about Pope Benedict XVI

(CNN) – Here's a look at Pope Benedict XVI's life.

Personal:
Birth date: April 16, 1927

Birth place: Marktl am Inn, Germany

Birth name: Joseph Ratzinger

Father: Joseph Ratzinger, a police officer

Mother: Maria Ratzinger

Education: University of Munich, doctorate in theology, 1953

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

February 11th, 2013
07:26 AM ET

Pope cites 'advanced age' in resignation

The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI will tender his resignation on February 28.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI's declaration of resignation
February 11th, 2013
06:51 AM ET

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI's declaration of resignation

By CNN Staff

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28. The following is the full text of Benedict's declaration:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. 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. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, 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. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Read more: Pope Benedict XVI – Fast Facts

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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