The Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office has announced that stamps will be issued after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI., during the time were there is no Pope. The series with the note “Sede vacante 2013” will include four stamps with an identical motif and be valid only until the inauguration of the new Pope.
The stamps with a value of 70 cents for Italy, 85 cents for Europe and the Mediterranean, two euros for Africa, Asia and the United States and 2.5 euros for Australia will be issued at the Vatican post offices and in the Vatican pilgrimage Office in St. Peter’s square. A high collector’s value is expected. Continue reading →
Emotional finale of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate
Endless joy and cheering by tens of thousands of faithfull as the outgoing Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his farewell in his last Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s square in Rome. With his retirement from Office, he is complying with Gods wish, said the head of the Roman Catholic Church.The people celebrated the Pope during the Angelus prayer as in the week before with “Viva il papa”-calls and long applause. Benedict’s voice faltered again and again during his speech, and he was interrupted by cheers of the faithful. “Thank you, in prayer we are always close to each other”, Benedict called out. He thanked the pilgrims for their love and sympathy in this “special moment for me and the Church”.
“Continue to serve the Church”
God had called him to devote himself more to meditation and prayer, which did not mean that he was leaving the church, said the 85-year-old. “On the contrary, if God is calling me, it is because I can continue to serve the church with the same dedication and love as before, but in a more appropriate way for my age and my strength,” he said in his speech. With a view to the daily Gospel of the transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, the Pope said that God had called him to “climb that mountain”.
According to Vatican spokesman Lombardi, Pope Benedict XVI. is considering to issue a modification of the electoral code before his resignation. An earlier start of the conclave could thus be possible.
Pope Benedict XVI. is apparently considering “clarifications” to the upcoming March election of his successor. One point might, among other things, be the open question of whether the Papal Election should start before the March 15. “The Pope is going to verify the possibility of publishing a Motu proprio (decree) in the coming days,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Wednesday in an interview with journalists.
Thus, certain points to the conclave, including the date and the liturgical sequence, could be clarified. However, Lombardi did not wanted to commit himself, wether the beginning of the conclave might be an issue in such a document: “I do not know,” said Father Lombardi, “if it would be necessary or appropriate to make a clarification on the issue of the time of the conclave.”
15 to 20 days waiting period provided
The conclave for the election of the head of the Catholic Church could start even before the usual deadline of 15 days after the beginning of the Sede Vacante (“empty chair Petri”), Lombardi said on Saturday. The period of 15 to 20 days to the beginning of the Conclave will give the voting Cardinals time, to travel to Rome from around the world. Since Benedict had earlier announced his resignation, the 117 voting Cardinals could adjust on an early arrival.
Rome is puzzled since days who will make the robe for the successor to Benedict XVI. Two Roman “clergy tailors” are in the race for this prestigious job.
The family Gammarelli, that dresses the Cardinals at the Vatican since 1793, and the younger rival Euroclero, who supplied Josef Ratzinger with robes during his 20 years as a Curial Cardinal, and to whom Benedict has remained loyal in his years as Pope.
Sizes small, medium and large
The tailor shop that receives the order from the Vatican must make three complete Pope robes until the beginning of the conclave – in sizes small, medium and large. Because it is unclear what stature the new Pontiff will have, several vestments must be sewn. As of this writing the story is told in Rome about John XXIII., the “good Pope,”: the full-bodied Italian looked like a “sausage” in his too-tight suit. Before he appeared on the Loggia of St. Peter’s after the “Habemus papam” in 1958, the back seam had to be unstitched. Each Pope robe includes also a hat, cape, sash, cassock, red shoes and a whole lot more.
Tens of thousands of people where cheering the outgoing Pope at his penultimate Angelus prayer in Rome. Benedict XVI. denounces arrogance and selfishness and calls for the renewal of the Catholic Church and its members. This is a “spiritual battle against the spirit of evil”.
Rome – great cheers and applause of the crowd at St. Peter’s square when Benedict XVI. showed up on the window of his private study / workroom and waved to the pilgrims. The parting Pope spoke his penultimate Angelus prayer as a church leader, tens of thousands of people attended.
In a short speech Benedict XVI called on the Catholic Church and its members to renew. Church and believers should “turn to God again, in response to arrogance and selfishness”. This means a “spiritual battle, because the spirit of evil is trying to distract us from the path of God,” Benedict said standing at the window of the Apostolic Palace.
“In the decisive moments in life, basically in every single moment, we stand at a crossroads: do we want to follow one’s (own) self or God?” The individual interests or the really good?”
The ANSA news agency reported, citing the Vatican, there were about 50,000 people in St. Peter’s square. “Thank you, that you appeared so numerous”, said Benedict. “This is a sign of affection and the intellectual interests that you show me these days.”
It is not just a resignation from office, but a retreat from the public: Pope Benedict XVI. wants to live isolated in the future and hide from the world. The 85-year-old said when meeting with Roman priests.
The people celebrated the Pope at the Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, as it was their last opportunity to pay public tribute to him. You could be right, it might have been one of his last appearances in public. In an meeting with the priests of the Diocese of Rome, where he serves as bishop, he said: “Even though I will retire in prayer, I will be close to you all, and you will be close to me – even if I will hide from this world.
Benedict VXI. had previously been welcomed with warm applause by the Roman priests in the Vatican audience hall. “Thank you, thank you for your affection, for the great love for the Pope,” he said. The conversation with the clergy took about an hour. The head of the church wanted to respond to questions from the parishes of his diocese. The date for the meeting was fixed quite some time ago and had nothing to do with the announced resignation of Benedict on Monday.
Life in the monastery
The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” reported, however, the Pope is said to have come to a final decision to resign during a trip to Mexico and Cuba.
On February 28 Benedict will resign his office. He will fly to the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, just 30 miles from Rome, on that Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in a helicopter. Continue reading →
In about two weeks time, Pope Benedict’s pontificate will be history: But before that the Pope is gone on 28th February, he has yet to fulfill one’s duties. An overview.
Thursday, February 14: Morning meeting with the Roman clergy in the Vatican audience hall. The Pope responds to questions the priest ask him on this occasion or speaks without notes. Friday, February 15: Reception of Romanian President Traian Basescu in a private audience. Also: Meeting with Italian Bishops. Saturday, February 16: Reception of the President of Guatemala, Otto Fernando Pérez Molina. Besides: Reception with Italian Bishops. Also: Pope Benedict XVI. meets Prime Minister Mario Monti. Sunday, February 17: At 12 clock penultimate noon Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square. In the evening, the beginning of Lent retreat of the Curia – traditionally no public appearances during the following week, no services and no general audience. Friday, February 22: The Pope addresses a few words of thanks at the end of the fast retreat of the Curia. Saturday, February 23: Benedict meets Italian President Giorgio Napolitano for an audience. Sunday, February 24: Last Angelus at 12 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square. Continue reading →