FEBRUARY 28 marks the last day of
POPE BENEDICT XVI's papacy. As of March 1, he will be addressed as "Your
Holiness Benedict XVI," and referred to as "emeritus pope."
Office for Divine Worship
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
The words of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, at
the General Audience in Vatican City on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, direct us
in the Archdiocese during these days:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you know, I have decided [â€¦] to renounce the
ministry which the Lord entrusted to me on 19 April 2005. I have done this
in full freedom for the good of the Church, after much prayer and having
examined my conscience before God, knowing full well the seriousness of this
act, but also realizing that I am no longer able to carry out the Petrine
ministry with the strength which it demands. I am strengthened and reassured
by the certainty that the Church is Christ's, who will never leave her
without his guidance and care...
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Smoke signals: How is a new pope elected?
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
With Pope Benedict XVI leaving the papal office
after resigning two weeks ago, the Catholic Church will have to rush to pick
his replacement before Easter. Normally, the College of Cardinals is not
allowed to select a new pontiff until 15 to 20 days after the office becomes
vacant -- usually when the previous pope has died. Benedict's resignation is
a rare exception. The last man to quit the head of the Catholic Church did
so 600 years ago. The situation calls for some rule bending, and having the
current pope involved is proving advantageous.
How many Cardinal Electors are there and where
are they from?
With the addition of 22 new cardinals, there
will be a total of 125 cardinal electors, from 51 countries. More than half
of the cardinals, 67 of them, are European. Another 22 are from South
America, 15 from the U.S, 11 from Africa, nine from Asia and one from
The country with the most cardinals is Italy,
which accounts for 30 of them. It's followed by the U.S. which has 12.
Germany and Brazil each have six cardinals. Spain has five cardinals, while
France, Poland, India and Mexico have four. The 50 remaining cardinals are
of different nationalities. -
A Conclave is the special gathering of Cardinals
for the purpose of electing a Pope. It is governed minutely by Papal Law,
currently the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis. For more
information on the Conclave, and all matters concerning the period between
the reign of one Pope and another, see the
Papal Interregnum section.
Please join the NBCC family in
prayers and support for Your Holiness Benedict XVI. We thank him for his
many years of service to the Church. God Bless him and keep him.