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Pope calls for Church to ‘renew,’ thousands flock to Angelus

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A priest displays a placard in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI called on the Church and its faithful on Sunday to “renew themselves” as tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists attended his penultimate Angelus prayers. AP PHOTO/RICCARDO DE LUCA

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI called on the Church and its faithful on Sunday to “renew themselves” as tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists attended his penultimate Angelus prayers.

“The Church calls on all its members to renew themselves… which constitutes a fight, a spiritual battle, because the evil spirit wants us to deviate from the road towards God,” he told the crowds from his window overlooking St Peter’s Square.

Families with young children, pensioners and nuns packed into the square in the sunshine said they had come to pay their respects to the pope, make their goodbyes or just share in a historic event ahead of Benedict’s resignation.

Groups of scouts held up banners reading “We have loved you so much!” and “We will be with you… always” and said they wanted to show Benedict that his shock decision to stand down on February 28 had not shaken their faith in him.

“He has done it for the good of the Church, and will keep serving us. He is retiring to pray—and God knows we need his prayers!” said Germana Blaiotta.

A serene-looking Benedict waved to the crowds and thanked them for turning out in such large numbers, calling it a “sign of affection and spiritual closeness,” as the onlookers called out “viva il papa” (long live the pope).

The Vatican said over 50,000 people had turned out to see the 85-year-old pope, while local authorities put the number at over 100,000.

‘Benedict, whose surprise announcement last Monday that he would step down after eight years rocked the Church, called on the world’s faithful to “refocus on God by disowning pride and egoism.”

His words were seen by some to hold a veiled reference to internal bickering within the Church in recent months, as well as the jostle for power as cardinals from all over the world prepare to vote in his successor.

“Benedict did everything for the Church, he was always in the limelight but they did nothing but criticize him and try and undermine him. Whoever follows him will have to have strong nerves,” said Margherita Yager, 61, from Germany.

Christine Renier, a 48-year-old teacher from Paris, said she was in Rome on holiday and had wanted to see the pontiff before he retires to a secluded monastery behind the Vatican walls for a life of contemplation.

“It is a sad day, but I think Benedict was actually too rigid and lost many faithful among the young. I’m hoping for a pope who can throw out the bureaucracy and get back to the Church’s roots, perhaps an African,” she said.

Amid speculation over which of the 117 cardinals in the running might snap up the Vatican’s top job, Italian media said Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan, was among the favorites backed by Benedict.

After meeting the pope Saturday, Scola said Benedict had told him, “You have to become a light for everyone,” a phrase pounced on by the media as a clue.

“Significant words which will be weighed by everyone,” said the Repubblica, while La Stampa agreed they were “meaningful words.”

At St. Peter’s Square, tourists snapping souvenir photographs of Benedict on their smart phones said he may have revolutionized the papacy.

“This is a moment which will go down in history. He’s opened the door to future resignations and I cannot see anyone suffering through an old age as pope again. From now on they’ll retire,” said Michele Agostino, 66.

Later Sunday, the pontiff will start a week-long spiritual retreat and have only very few public engagements before he formally steps down—the first to resign voluntarily in 700 years.

Benedict will receive Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Feb. 23, celebrate his last Angelus prayer on Feb. 24 and hold a final audience in St. Peter’s Square with tens of thousands of followers on Feb. 27.


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Tags: Benedict XVI , Catholic Church , Pope , Religion , Vatican


  • UrHONOR

    >>>Pope calls for Church to ‘renew,’ thousands flock to Angelus<<<

    RENEW?  MAGBAGO?  WHY???  How much does he know about people that he's urging them to renew?  Or, if it were meant to re-energize, he should address that admonition to himself.  There is internal bickering in the church…then he should direct his words to those concerned DIRECTLY and not beat the bush by including everyone else.

    And there it goes again using god as a shield, "….and God knows we need his prayers!” .  How the duck does he or anyone else know what god needs?  A god DOES NOT NEED anything, that's why a god is a god.  Only gods that are made and created to the USERS' image are those that need THINGS that are invariably coursed through the self-anointed and self-appointed agents and go-betweens for their own ulterior motives and benefit.

    The renewal that's truly needed is the renewal for the church to face VERITAS and do away with FAIRY TALES that are now passe' and irrelevant to many peoples' lives.  LET GO of the enormous and humongous wealth of the church that have been the private preserve of a few 'church royalty' for their personal aggrandizement.  Let many, if not all, share in the bounty of the church, esp in the PH, that are merely settled happily and gloriously in banks and financial institutions waiting for interests and dividends to sustain the royal and lavish lifestyles of the privileged few in white gowns, particularly those with colorful helmets/beanie caps.  Any good and truthful bisyap can very well attest to this, right Argueless, Pueblos, Quevedo, etc???

  • Noel

    Renew what?  In order to renew faith and believe in God, the Catholic Church must renew her teachings and abandon those man made doctrines and pagan traditions.

  • Islander

    Old age may not be the
    main reason of Pope Benedict’s resignation. After all, he knows that
    he could have asked for strength from Him whom all strength comes from
    (Philippians, 4:13).

    Now it can be told what the main reason is. Washington Post, the US
    most influential newspaper, published a very long expose detailing the
    management crisis in Vatican that led to Benedict’s resignation.

    Benedict resigned because he failed. His management reforms of the
    Holy See have been a massive failure. But don’t quote me; let us quote
    him directly in his sad, final Ash Wednesday remarks, his last public
    speech:

    “We can reveal the face of the church and how this face is, at times,
    disfigured,” Benedict said in his final homily on Ash Wednesday. “I am
    thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the church, of
    the divisions in the body of the church.” He called for his ministry to
    overcome “individualism” and “rivalry,” saying they were only for those
    “who have distanced themselves from the faith.”

    Read the admission again. A dejected pope “revealed” a Vatican that
    is divided from within. He called this division not a just a secular
    crisis but a SIN. He categorized the rivalry as at a level that is only
    expected as the level of the faithless. For the first — and last —
    time in his ministry, the pope was finally transparent.

    We now know of this crisis mainly from VatiLeaks, a disclosure that
    rivals if not exceeded Watergate in terms of importance — Watergate
    expelled the president; Vatileaks pushed out a pope. The leakage of
    voluminous personal documents of the pope was done by the person closest
    to him, Paolo Gabriele, the head of the Papal Household (his butler).
    He disclosed a story of massive corruption, pointing at Cardinal
    Bertone, the Secretary of State and Vatican’s second most powerful
    person, as the main culprit. Benedict pardoned his butler, not out of
    personal loyalty but seemingly to indicate approval of the butler’s
    action.

    The leak described massive turf war and corruption. Vatican’s huge
    bureaucracy — a gerontocracy — seems to be having a war within itself.
    And Benedict declared himself a failure in instituting the reforms.
    That is the main reason of the resignation.

    Symbolic of his failings, his resignation now leaves the bureaucracy
    in the exclusive, albeit temporary, control of Cardinal Bertone. In
    leaving, Benedict truly left the Church with the villain. What a sad
    failure!
     

  • $37644997

    There will be revival and renewal of faith when there ‘s enough reform from with-in.The Pope’s resignation symbolizes a great change and the beginning of the end of anomalies and sins from various ranks of the Catholic church.It’s never too late for a change for as long as the Church exist
    Right now,today and many tomorrows to come.

  • UrHONOR

    NONE so blind as those who refuse to see; not so deaf as those who refuse to hear; and none so dumb as those who refuse to speak the TRUTH. (UH, 7:11)

  • speaksoftlylove

    Luma na yang balita ng Washington Post. I have been posting before that there is more than meets the eye in pope Benedict’s renunciation of the papacy. I also repeatedly posted that he did not resigned but either pressured to resigned by the powers that be or he could no longer bear the virtual realities perpetuated by the powers that be. To reiterate, the Pope did not use the word “resign.” Resign has a different Latin term. In his Latin announcement, the Pope specifically used the word “renuncio” which means rejection or abandonment of the Papacy.

    By the way, in his last meeting with the cardinals, he talked to Cardinal Scola. He specifically told Scola that “You should be the light of the world.” and this was quickly picked up by the Vatican media as a personal endorsement of Pope Benedict XVI to elevate Cardinal Scola to the Papacy. Personally, I have no problem with him as the new pope. At face value, it would seem that he can draw non believers to the Roman Catholic Church. We all know that CocaCola is the “real thing.” Besides, all children loves “popsicle.” So, let’s all welcome the possible popabile and shout, “Heil, PopeS(i)cola, the final Pope.”

    • 12JEM

       PapaRatzi will be retiring in a renovated former Nuns’s chamber…He will therefore be Incommunicado from the paparazzis of the world.

  • virgoyap

    What does to “renew”  means? Is this a doctrinal renewal or the renewal of our whole being back to Jesus and his teachings? I think our Pope knows very much what he was saying.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WDAV2VKWQ7PNDEXBXNQ3SXOABU Pidro Bayan

    Matindi ang galit ng mga pastor sa RCC. Palibhasa kasi PEKE reliyon nila. Sinisiraan nila yun ORIGINAL na reliyon and tunay na reliyon na tinatag ng Panginoon!



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