Papal Transition 2013

Pope Benedict XVI, 85, who has been considered a guardian of the faith, upholding the traditional teachings of the church leading the clergy in the defense of the faith, announced February 11, 2013 he is resigning as Bishops of Rome and Pope effective at the end of the month.

Regarded as one of the sharpest theologians in the church both before and during his pontificate, in person he was soft spoken and grandfatherly. It was those latter qualities that endeared him to the public although it didn't spare him controversy and negative media coverage.

“[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 St. 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 St. 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.”

— Pope Bendict XVI, February 11, 2013

Feb 14, 2013 | Pope Benedict XVI speaks to priests of Rome about Vatican II

In his unscripted address in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father shares his experiences of the Second Vatican Council and the proper interpretation of the Council, which began 50 years ago. The Pope has announced that he will retire on Feb. 28.

Feb 24, 2013 | Pope Benedict XVI's final Angelus address

Pope Benedict XVI prays the Angelus on February 24, 2013. In his address, translated from Italian into English, the Holy Father reflects on the temptation of Jesus in the desert. This is the final Angelus address that the Pope will give before his retirement on Feb. 28.

Remembering Pope Benedict’s Resignation Five Years Later

by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
The momentous occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation five years ago on February 11, 2013, stands as an important moment in the life of the Catholic Church and in the life of the world. To his brother Cardinals gathered in consistory that February morning five years ago, he startled them, the Church and the entire world with these moving words:... read more

Pope Benedict Offers us Another Great Teaching: Humility

by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013

"Benedict XVI Leaves the Papacy," reads the stunning headline of the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano. Monday's announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation caught many in the Roman Catholic Church and the world by surprise. But perhaps it shouldn't have. Pope Benedict XVI submitted his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 of the church's Code of Canon Law. It is an unprecedented decision in modern history and offers the church and the world a profound teaching moment. It is perfectly in line with one of the greatest teachers of the faith that the church has ever known... read more

Two last Vatican events of Pope Benedict XVI

Feb 27, 2013 | Benedict XVI's final General Audience

Feb 28, 2013 | The Departure of Pope Benedict XVI

Sede Vacante

Feb 28, 2013
Closing the doors of Castel Gandolfo

Benedict XVI's resignation officially took effect at 8:00 pm local time on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At this time, the doors of his residence at Castel Gandolfo were closed and the Swiss Guards were replaced by the Vatican gendarmerie.

March 1, 2013
Papal Transition: Special Feature with Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Sebastian Gomes speaks with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. in Rome on the final day of Pope Benedict's Pontificate. The Cardinal shares his thoughts on Pope Benedict's departure, his lasting legacy, and the important characteristics of the new pope.

March 8, 2013
Papal Transitions with John Allen - Habemus Papabili

Few people understand the Vatican better than John Allen Jr., a Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter in Rome. Since Benedict announced his resignation, John has been doing his homework on the "papabili," or "papal candidates" who are most likely to succeed him. In these segments we look at some of the most dynamic Cardinals from around the world.

Inside the Conclave

March 8, 2013
The making of a pope
by CNS

Here's a look at what's expected to take place in the Sistine Chapel March 12, 2013 as 115 cardinals choose the next pope.

More on Pope Benedict XVI:

Letter of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI regarding the Report on Abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising
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Benedict XVI as a Pope of Addition
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Text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day
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The Final Lessons of John XXIII and Benedict XVI
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Sebastian Gomes speaks with Cardinal Donald Wuerl about Pope Benedict XVI, his resignation, and the Papal Transition to Pope Francis. more
Benedict’s calculated decision five years ago
By Sebastian Gomes, Special to CNN In hindsight we see how calculated Benedict’s thinking was, and not only about his resignation. He called an unexpected consistory to be held on November 24 in which he created six new cardinals, none of them coming from Europe. That came nine months after the pr more
Pope Benedict’s Final Homily
Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final public homily on February 13, 2013 during Ash Wednesday Mass, just days after announcing his resignation. Here is the full homily. more
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Caring for Creation: Pope Francis builds bridges with the secular world
The summer is coming to a close and the Vatican is getting back into its typical routine.   Pope Francis, unlike his predecessors, never takes much of a break during the summer, despite frequent prompts coming from his inner circles: those concerned his busy schedule will negatively affect his ove more
It’s been a year since Pope Benedict shocked the world by announcing his resignation, and so much has happened since: At not even a year of Pope Francis’ papacy it’s almost as if he’s been Pope forever. Join Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB as he looks back at the historic events of th more