Pope Benedict was made an offer he couldn't refuse.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.
He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."
"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," he told the cardinals. "I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by 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 St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths 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."
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
Last year, Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict's personal butler from 2006 to 2012, was believed to have leaked stolen information belonging to the Pope to the author of the best selling book,"Sua Santita" ("His Holiness"). He was held by Vatican police, who claim to have found classified documents in his apartment, and was pardoned by Pope Benedict. Gabriele told investigators he acted because he saw "evil and corruption everywhere in the church".
Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, weeks after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking the pope's private papers, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. The pope visited Gabriele in prison "in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr. Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter," said a Vatican statement. "This constitutes a paternal gesture toward a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years." Gabriele was immediately released and has returned home, the statement said.
The Pope's butler's fate will be decided by court "Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life," it said. Gabriele, one of the pope's closest personal assistants, was convicted in October of aggravated theft for leaking secret papers from the pontiff's personal apartment to an author who included them in a best-selling book. During the high-profile trial, Gabriele declared himself not guilty, but said he had abused the pope's trust. He asked forgiveness of the pontiff for his actions, which he said were intended to expose wrongdoing. The Holy See media office had previously indicated that Gabriele could be pardoned. He was held in a cell in Vatican City since October. Gabriele was arrested in May, following a Vatican investigation into how the pope's private documents appeared in the book "Sua Santita" ("His Holiness"), by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. The book, based on the papers, revealed claims of corruption in the church's hierarchy. At his trial, police told how they found more than 1,000 important documents among a stash of hundreds of thousands of papers in Gabriele's apartments in Vatican City and Castel Gondolfo, a town near Rome. Among them were original papers signed by Pope Benedict XVI, some of them stamped with an order for destruction, according to the journalists allowed to attend the trial. Also found in his possession were a gold nugget belonging to the pope, a signed check made out to Pope Benedict XVI for 100,000 euros and an original version of Virgil's Aeneid from 1581.
His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI (Italian: Sua Santità. Le carte segrete di Benedetto XVI) is a book published by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, consisting of confidential letters and memos between Pope Benedict XVI and his personal secretary. The letters in the book portray the Vatican as a corrupt hot bed of jealousy, intrigue and underhanded factional fighting.
Nuzzi's book reveals details about the Pope's personal finances, and includes tales of bribes made to procure an audience with him. It reproduces confidential letters and memos to and from Benedict and his personal secretary. It contains letters from a very senior Vatican administrator to Pope Benedict in which he begged not to be transferred for having exposed alleged corruption that cost the Holy See millions of euros in higher contract prices. The documents also cover a 2009 scandal concerning the ex-editor of the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, a dinner between Benedict and Italy's president, and a 2011 letter from an Italian talk show host to the pope enclosing a cheque for 10,000 euros for his charity work – and asking for a private audience in exchange. Diplomatic cables include Vatican embassies from Jerusalem to Cameroon, as well as conclusions of the pope's inquiry into the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order - where he is warned that the financial situation of the order, beset by a scandal over its paedophile founder, "while not grave, is serious and pressing". The documents portray the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in a particularly negative light.
COULD BERTONE BECOME, THE LST POPE?
The following was a thread post at realistnews.net, posted on April 9, 2012
Tarcisio "PIETRO ROMANO" Bertone (Peter the Roman)
Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone may very well be the "Peter the Roman" that many have prophesized as "the last pope", "the black pope" a potential "antichrist" etc. etc.
Pietro is an Italian form of the name "Peter" and this right-hand man to the current pope was born in "Roman"o Canavese.
It is also interesting to note several reports last year about the possibility of the current Pope Benedict XVI resigning/being assasinated etc. in the near future.
In addition, although some sources have debunked the claim, there have been speculation of the Pope resigning shortly after his 85th birthday in the middle of April 2012.
St. Malachy's Prophecy of The Last Pope - "PIETRO ROMANO"
(Peter the Roman)
WHO IS PETER THE ROMAN? THE LAST POPE
Perhaps the new pope will be 'Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone'
Pietro = Peter Born in Romano Canavese, Italy = Roman Peter the Roman
Maybe it will be
Peter Turkson of Ghana
Francis Arinze of Nigeria, and Marc Ouellet of Canada were among the cardinals hotly tipped by bookmakers to take over from Pope Benedict XVI.
Bookmakers named 80-year-old Arinze as their favorite to replace the pontiff following the shock announcement of the pontiff’s resignation with odds of 2-1, followed by Turkson at 5-2.
Bookmakers also offered odds of 8-1 on Archbishop Angelo Scola of Italy and 10-1 on Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. At the humorous end of the scale, a bookmaker, Coral, was offering 2000-1 on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong becoming pope.
By the way,
There are reports that the Vatican has a Telescope in Arizona called "Lucifer".
Quote from this Article: "And yes," according to Popular Science, "it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star."
(20) Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (21) Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
(1) And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, "Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: (2) With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." (3) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
(5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.