Pope Benedict XVI Abdicates, Shocks World: Oremus

Many questions are left in the wake of the Benedict XVI’s announced abdication from the Supreme Pontificate which takes effect the night of February 28. Our top priority, however, must be prayer. We must pray much for the Holy Father, pray much for his successor, and pray much for the Church of God.

Here at Saint Benedict Center, our chaplain has added orations for the Church and for the Holy Father to the prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (These orations are found in good traditional hand missals as well as the altar missal.)

Barring some strange proceedings in the conclave — at which, we are told, Joseph Ratzinger will not vote — Holy Mother Church will begin Lent with one visible head and celebrate Easter with another. There will be a period, however brief, of sede vacante.

The demons will, doubtless, use this occasion to tear down the spotless bride of Christ as much as they can. Let us invoke the Holy Angels, and their august Queen, to combat them and to make this a time of triumph for the Church.

Full text of Pope’s declaration from Vatican Radio.

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.

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