Pontificia Università della Santa Croce The University Thanks and Prays for Pope Benedict The academic community of the Po...
outside the communion of faith. The Creed does not mention anything about resignations by the Vicar of Christ. Public opin...
Legal reflections aside, I think that the freedom of spirit and transparency with which Benedict XVI brought this decision...
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Thanks and prays for pope benedict pontifical university of the holy cross

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The University Thanks and Prays for Pope Benedict
The academic community of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross would like to express immense gratitude to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for "his rich and fruitful Magisterium" and prays fervently for him and his intentions. At the same time, she invokes the Holy Spirit's help for the future Roman Pontiff.
The Prelate of Opus Dei, our University Chancellor H.E. Msgr. Javier Echevarría, conveyed these feelings well, emphasizing that Benedict XVI offered "a humble and generous example of service to the Church and to the world."
Reflections and Responses from Professors at the Holy Cross

The Holy Father's decision to resign from his office as Bishop of Rome and Successor of St. Peter has opened up public opinion to an inevitable discussion: What is the meaning of this choice? What meaning has Pope Benedict himself given it? Some professors at the Holy Cross reflect and respond.

THE RESIGNATION OF BENEDICT XVI AND PUBLIC OPINION
Norberto González Gaitano, Professor of Public Opinio

BENEDICT XVI, A COUNTERCULTURAL PONTIFICATE
Prof. Diego Contreras, Professor of Analysis and Practice of Information

GIVE WHAT IS DUE...
Rev. Prof. Jesús Miñambres, Professor of Patrimonial Canon Law.

COHERENCE AND HUMILITY IN BENEDICT XVI'S DECISION
Rev. Prof. Philip Goyret, Vice Rector of the University and Professor of Ecclesiology

A HISTORIC TURNING POINT
Rev. Prof. Johannes Grohe, Director of the Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum, and Professor of Church History

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Thanks and prays for pope benedict pontifical university of the holy cross

  1. 1. Pontificia Università della Santa Croce The University Thanks and Prays for Pope Benedict The academic community of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross would like to express immense gratitude to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for "his rich and fruitful Magisterium" and prays fervently for him and his intentions. At the same time, she invokes the Holy Spirits help for the future Roman Pontiff. The Prelate of Opus Dei, our University Chancellor H.E. Msgr. Javier Echevarría, conveyed these feelings well, emphasizing that Benedict XVI offered "a humble and generous example of service to the Church and to the world." ✎ Reflections and Responses from Professors at the Holy Cross Reflections and Responses from Professors at the Holy Cross The Holy Fathers decision to resign from his office as Bishop of Rome and Successor of St. Peter has opened up pub lic opinion to an inevitab le discussion: What is the meaning of this choice? What meaning has Pope Benedict himself given it? Some professors at the Holy Cross reflect and respond. THE RESIGNATION OF BENEDICT XVI AND PUBLIC OPINION Norberto González Gaitano, Professor of Public Opinion Anytime we are faced with a decision which has been contemplated, suffered, and made in clear conscience--even when it is made by the Pope--there is no other reaction to show than respect, profound respect. In this regard, world public opinion has been unanimous, from religious leaders, heads of State and Presidents down to the common people. Such agreement in judgment can be summed up by the classic aphorism: "vox populi, vox Dei." Any other judgment, if it is to be reasonable, should be based on the decisions effects, not on the person who made it, or on the action itself. Thus, judgments are necessarily "historical," formed with the passing of time, and so subject to change. Let us leave such judgments to the historians. Nevertheless, public opinion cannot wait for historical judgments to form. In fact, in the course of this event, it is already forming. On this type of judgment, more contingent than that of historians, I venture to write a few considerations from the point of view of someone involved for many years in research about public opinion and the Church. 1. A preliminary analysis of international public opinion as reflected in the media is clearly very positive. Just the fact that so much global attention is being given to the resignation of one religious leader--with the exception of China for obvious reasons of censoring--shows that in some way public opinion perceives the unique character of the Catholic Church, and of the man who governs it. Her claims are very different from those of other religions, and these claims may be accepted or rejected depending on whether one has faith or not. They have been, in any case, universally perceived. This kind of attention has not been given to the resignation of any other religious leader. Clearly, there are other factors: the number of followers, etc. On their own however, these factors dont explain the great interest received. 2. In Catholic circles, inside the Church, I have found loyalty to Benedict XVI and acceptance of his decision together with questions and confusion. Does a decision like this change the Popes role in the Church? Will it be helpful or detrimental to the Churchs future? Will it condition the decisions of his successors, and in what way? These questions regard public opinion within the Church. Concerning this field, I would like to present a few thoughts: a) On the level of faith (of dogma, the essential content of faith), public opinion does not have a discursive role. One is either inside or
  2. 2. outside the communion of faith. The Creed does not mention anything about resignations by the Vicar of Christ. Public opinion however,does participate on this level as the sensus fidelium--not with judgements of the Popes decision, but with prayer. Truly, there has been amanifestation of prayer for the Church, the Pope, and for his successor. A quick look on the internet is enough to "hear" this noise.b ) On the practical level of communion--the Church is not a democratic community, but rather a communion--the decision to resign liessolely with the Pope, before God and his own conscience. He must, however--just like all the faithful--be accountable to the faithful insome way, given that his power is not despotic. That is exactly what Benedict XVI did. He accounted for his choice directly to theConsistory of Cardinals who represent the whole Church and assist in governing her. Beginning with them, it is transmitted to all thefaithful and to public opinion in general.c) On the contingent level, freedom reigns. Arguments may be reasonable, or not so reasonable, have better or worse foundations. Herediscussions are open and necessary. In the future, Popes and Cardinals, canonists, theologians...and in some way all the faithful mustthink about how to govern the Church in a clear and transparent way when the Pope is no longer capable, whether he resigns or not.Benedict XVIs choice is a lesson in communications as well: free what is contingent with contingent decisions. Only saints have suchfreedom of spirit, because they care about the judgment of God and not of history--as in the case with John Paul II, when he decided tocontinue until his death. They arrive at different decisions using the same motives (faith, love for the Church, and humility) in differentcircumstances. No contradiction exists.BENEDICT XVI, A COUNTERCULTURAL PONTIFICATEProf. Diego Contreras, Professor of Analysis and Practice of InformationBenedict XVI had already announced it, but we almost forgot (at least I did): "If a pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically,psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of an office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also anobligation to resign…" Peter Seewald reported it in his book-interview "Light of the World," published in 2010.To me it seems unnecessary to seek other reasons for the Popes decision. Guiding the universal Church today requires a great deal ofenergy and strength--much different from what it required years ago.The Pope is in good health, and he continues to have a brilliant mind. Yet he feels that he is "incapable" of governing. I think that this hasalready been clear: the Pope concentrates on essentials, especially in doctrinal teaching and in the election of bishops--but he seesthat he should be doing more. It has been said that John Paul II had much poorer health and never resigned. In his case however, hemaintained that his mission was to witness to suffering as the Successor of Peter. And that is how it was perceived.In retrospect, it cant be denied that Benedict XVI had to row against the tide for almost all of his eight year as Pope. That meansspending a great deal of extra energy. He was left alone on too many occasions. For me, the most dramatic document he wrote was aletter to the bishops in March 2009, during the violent controversy about removing the excommunication of Lefebvrian Bishops.In any case, Benedict XVI has shown that he has nothing to do with the caricatures some people (usually outside Rome--here it iseasier to know the authentic Ratzinger) have attributed to him.The very act of resigning confirms that this "humble servant in the Lords vineyard," as he introduced himself after his election, was notjust a pretty phrase he chose, but the truth.(From his blog: www.laiglesiaenlaprensa.com)GIVE WHAT IS DUE...Rev. Prof. Jesús Miñambres, Professor of Patrimonial Canon Law.The first reaction that the news of the Popes resignation provokes in a lawyer is thanksgiving. It is right to give each person what he isdue, and above all, we need to thank the faithful Joseph Ratzinger for the path of life that he has walked until now. We need to thank himfor his openness to grace, an openness that has brought him far from his passion for teaching and research, towards a governing roleat the service of the Church.In more technical terms, Benedict XVIs resignation from the office of Roman Pontiff constitutes one of the two possibilities, bothforeseen by the Church, that could cause the Apostolic See to be vacant (the other is a Popes death). Though this possibility has alwaysbeen legally provided for, (can. 332 § 2 CIC e 44 § 2 CCEO; n. 3 e 77 Universi Dominici gregis) it has never actually been put intopractice. Now it is becoming a reality and poses some interesting juridical questions: what is the personal, legal state of a formerRoman Pontiff? Could we speak of a “Bishop Emeritus” of Rome, as we speak of them in other dioceses? In more basic terms, what isexpected of someone who “was” the Roman Pontiff before?I am almost certain that Benedict XVI has personally meditated upon these questions, and has consulted experts in order to proceedwith prudence. I am also certain that these questions were not the most important elements he considered before deciding which stepto take.
  3. 3. Legal reflections aside, I think that the freedom of spirit and transparency with which Benedict XVI brought this decision to term deservesgrateful acceptance among the faithful. In the upcoming weeks he remains Supreme Shepherd of the Church, and needs our prayersduring this unprecendented chapter of Christian history.COHERENCE AND HUMILITY IN BENEDICT XVIS DECISIONRev. Prof. Philip Goyret, Vice Rector of the University and Professor of EcclesiologyWe were all surprised by Benedict XVIs unexpected gesture, and every Catholics first, natural reaction should be to pray intensely andprofoundly for him and for the Church.A closer look reveals that the Popes decision is very coherent with the rest of his thought, and most especially, with his way ofunderstanding the Petrine mission. This mission in fact, is not governed by the parameters of politics. When the apostles fight aboutwho is greater, Jesus tells them: “Let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.”It is essential for the head of the apostles—and for his successors—to be completely at the service of the flock. When it is perceived thatconditions for fulfilling this service can no longer be met—something that can happen in many ways, not only in the sphere of physical ormental health—the decision to draw back emerges not only as a coherent choice, but also as the result of a personal attitude marked byhumility. This attitude is very far from despotic attachment to power. Thus, the “simple and humble worker in the Lords vineyard,” as hewanted to introduce himself to the world on April 19, 2005, looked then upon St. Peters Square to greet the crowd gathered there, andhas remained firm until the end.Service always remains the essential element, as mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. The way one serves may be very difficult, and couldeven entail suffering and sickness, as in the last years of John Paul IIs Pontificate.Let us remember that the most effective “rule” over the Church was accomplished by Jesus on the Cross—a rule which was continuedin some way by Peter the apostle, who also died on a cross.We can say in closing that the Popes resignation is also a type of “death to glory,” and thus Benedict XVI leaves an example for us that isjust as valid as John Paul II.A HISTORIC TURNING POINTRev. Prof. Johannes Grohe, Director of the Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum, and Professor of Church HistoryFrom the historical point of view, the resignation of Benedict XVI represents a turning point: although we could cite the resignations of St.Clement I (97) or of St. Pontian (235) as examples, these were—just like in similar cases during the first centuries—situations ofpersecution, in which the goal was not to leave the Church without a Shepherd.Not even St. Celestine Vs renunciation of the papacy (1294) can be taken as an example since this holy hermit became aware of hisinadequacy, and the increasingly suffocating dependence on the Neapolitan court, after only a few months. With great humility he livedthe consequences.The Pope made his decision with great courage and in full freedom. As he wrote in Peter Seewalds book-interview Light of the World in2010: “when a Pope arrives at the clear awareness of no longer being capable physically, psychologically, and mentally to carry out themission entrusted to him, he has the right and even the duty in certain circumstances to resign.”CONSCIOUSNESS OF RESIGNATION (LA COSCIENZA DELLA RINUNCIA)Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, Visiting Professor of the School of Church Communication Article (ita) 0IN PRIMO PIANO The Seminar Ars University on “The Celbrandi: Thanks Lesson of

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