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Featured Article: A Different Kind of Martyrdom - How I learned to stop talking and start listening. - Martyrs go straight to heaven. I first heard this when I was about five and, after quickly thinking it over, I decided to ask God to let me die as a witness to the truth. It seemed to me the surest, fastest way to be with Jesus forever. Trekking through the jungle, sharing the good news with a lost tribe, being quickly put to death-it couldn’t be all that bad, right? Read Full Story

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NBCC Spotlight Article

Pope Benedict XVI resigns from the Papacy

[ AUTHOR ]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."

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Pope Benedict XVI resigns from the Papacy

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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 […] 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. Full Story

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 Oceania.

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. - Full Story

Conclave

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.

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