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Marin Reacts to Pope Benedict’s Resignation

Pontiff, 85, will step down Feb. 28 as bishop of Rome; his name will revert to Joseph Ratzinger.

As reported by The Associated Press, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced his resignation before cardinals at a ceremony to name three new saints.

Marin residents reacted with disdain, at least on the Facebook pages of Patch's sites in Marin. San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch Facebook user Liza Ryan Wozniak write: "First good thing he has done!" 

On the San Rafael Patch Facebook site, Michael Mclain wrote, "What I know is that if you are a man of God, you are suppose to teach tolerance, patience, acceptance, love and forgiveness. Just to name a few spiritual principles I believe God wants us to have in our life. In the many years it seems The Pope was getting away from that and teaching just the opposite. I'm happy he stepped down, and I hope a true teacher of Gods word steps in. Maybe someone with a true devotion to God and his teachings."

Jan Simone on the Novato Patch Facebook page said she hoped for some post-resignation honesty from Pope Benedict: "I'm not a fan of Catholic church policies (to say the least)... but I'd love to hear what the soon-to-be-ex-pope REALLY thinks, once he's left his revered position.

And on the Mill Valley Patch Facebook pageAlex Rhone wrote,"It's a great day for freedom loving people everywhere."

When Pope Benedict announced his resignation, it sparked considerable discussion about when was the last time a pope had resigned. According to a posting on Poynter.org:

Many news organizations have reported that Pope Gregory XII was the last leader of the Roman Catholic Church to resign, in 1415. However, in this clip NBC Vatican analyst George Weigel says it’s been “717 years” since the last pope abdicated, by which he probably means Celestine V, who resigned 719 years ago, in 1294.

Gregory was not the pope for whom was named the Gregorian calendar (that was Gregory XIII) or Gregorian chant (Gregory the Great or Gregory II, opinions differ). XII resigned so the church could unite under a single pope after a schism. He died in 1417. Here’s some background on papal resignations.

Here is the pope's announcement, translated into English:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. 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.

I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with 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 Saint 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 Saint 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.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

What do you think of the Pope's resignation? Tell us in the Comments below.

Craig Belfor February 12, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I didn't like this guy from the get go. Remember that horrible story about the Irish school for deaf boys? The Catholic church took it over, and it wasn't long before they were hammering those little tykes day and night. They must have thought it was the perfect crime, if nobody could hear the screams of a kid getting his fudge packed. Well, the stories started coming out, so the Catholic church had to do an investigation or face complicity by default. Just as it looked like there were going to be results, Ratzo, the Nazi, killed the investigation. The kids never got their say (or point), in court. I'm not against religion, God, or homosexuality, but we should lay off the kids. Maybe the next Pope will be against this practice, but Ratzo appointed most of the cardinals who will choose the next Pope, so don't hold your breath.
informed February 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM
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DC February 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM
"And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ ..." Wow! That sounds beautiful! I understand Jesus Christ to be the "one and only" high priest and the only mediator between God and man. Dan Carlson
DC February 12, 2013 at 05:28 PM
"And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, ..." Wow, that sounds beautiful. I understand Jesus Christ to be the "One and only" high priest, and the only mediator between God and man. Dan Carlson
informed February 12, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Apparently the people The Patch interviewed for their response are not only non-Catholics, but non-Christians as well, based on their disrespectful comments on Pope Benedict's resignation. Pope Benedict has served most of his life to God and is known as one of the most intelligent, spiritual, and humble Popes our world has known. He deserves a lot of credit for advancing inter-religious links between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He became Pope under a tumultuous time with the sexual scandal of some priests. No one did more to successfully address the problem of the priest sex scandal than Pope Benedict. He set new rules including allowing the church to prosecute suspected molestors up to 20+years from the accused time. No other leader has formally vocalized such harsh words for those molestors and created guidelines of prosecution until Pope Benedict. There are over 1.2 billion Catholics world wide who look to the Pope for leadership, spirituality and guidance. For those who are quick to say regarding his resignation, "it's the only good thing he's done" or "you didn't like the guy from the get go" obviously don't respect the honor of Pontif itself. We are approaching the most Holy time of the year, with Ash Wed tomorow then leading up to Holy Week and Easter over the next 40 days. I will choose this time to pray for the Cardinals during their selection process and praising Pope Benedict for his service of the past eight years and his humble act of resignation.
stephen schwindt February 12, 2013 at 07:27 PM
The turbulence during his tenure ought not to over-shadow his many achievements. Although dismayed, I respect his decision.
Gigi Cruz February 12, 2013 at 08:15 PM
@ Informed, I'm not surprised a bit about it. What else do you expect from liberal Marin?
Pam Russo February 13, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Before he was Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. He was responsible for dealing with abuse cases. To many children suffered under his leadership because he put the reputation of the church above the safety of it's members. His resignation is a good thing, he needs to prepare for his final judgement day and I hope he is met with the same consideration he gave to all those children that needlessly suffered.
Craig Belfor February 13, 2013 at 05:47 AM
The sad thing is, the Catholic church actively promotes and protects this behavior, and that's why you never hear of Episcopalian, Lutheran, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Amish, or Buddhist pedophiles.
michael February 14, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I just love the comments defending this Pope. One commenter arrogantly states that anyone who dares to criticize him isn't a Christian. Well, you know where you can put that comment, the same place where your priests like to put theirs. Another states it is because Marin is liberal, well, I'm from the southeast, a bastion of conservatism and let me tell you, the Pope is considered the anti-christ in that part of the world and those who follow him are considered demonic. It is amazing how you Catholics will go to no end to deny, deflect, project, whatever you need to do to protect the largest child rape ring the world as ever known. The real truth is that you've sold your souls and those of your children (a long with a few other things) to worship this evil institution. This Pope helped to cover the rape of many children. You that worship him are child rape enablers. How dare you insult the intelligent universe by saying otherwise. I think that Jesus told us that there would be ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing to contend with. Well, he was wrong. The clothing isn't quite so sheepish.
michael February 14, 2013 at 10:35 PM
BTW, my best friend was raped, beaten and abused in a Catholic orphanage in Buffalo N.Y. and works with a group of ex-communicated sisters who help those who are seeking justice and healing because of the abuse they have endured by this wicked organization. I've been to her meetings. I've heard the horrid stories that even happen today. I've heard the stories of how these people are treated when they confront the church. I've heard the stories of suicides. I've heard stories that would make most humans who have a heart vomit. Guess why the sister's were ex-communicated? For daring to help those who are trying to find justice.
Lou Judson February 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Don't forget, before he ascended to his anointed throne, he was known as "The Pope's Bulldog", the one who ran the new inquisition. As one who eschews organized religion in all forms, I am sure he will end up in the Hell he believes in... to be buggered by all sorts of devils!
Lou Judson February 15, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Dear Informed, Have you ever heard of brainwashing? You are a prime example of how it works.

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