Pope Benedict XVI-When Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 citing old age, he became the first Pope in 600 years to step down from the role. Born Joseph Ratzinger, the German cardinal was elected in April 2005 and chose to go by the name of Benedict.
The Roman Catholic Church refers to Benedict XVI as the “pope emeritus” and it’s said that he will be staying on his Vatican residence, but stepping down from all leadership roles. He stepped down because of his old age, at 85 years old, which is exceptionally young for the position.
For almost a decade there were in effect two popes living at close quarters in the Vatican, because Benedict stayed at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, appearing occasionally alongside his successor.
Millions of Catholics around the world were glued to their television sets Friday, cheering as the body of Pope John Paul II was slowly carried from his papal apartment and into a Prague hospital two days after he died.
The Middle Ages are often seen as a golden age of Church, when the Church was united and powerful.
But even the Middle Ages do not provide a template, because when Gregory XII resigned in 1415 his aim was to bring an end to years of division involving rival challengers to the papacy.
The Middle Ages do not provide a template, because when Gregory XII resigned in 1415 his aim was to bring an end to years of division involving rival challengers to the papacy.
The Middle Ages are not a model for us because they have no template for us. They are a model for them because they have a template for themselves.
In the Middle Ages, popes were elected by the College of Cardinals. The cardinals were not elected by the people but were clerics who had been appointed by a pope to oversee church affairs in Rome.
The cardinals were divided into two groups: those who supported one pope and those who supported another. When these two groups could no longer agree on who should be pope, they chose a new pope through a complicated process known as “election.”
In practice, this meant that every time a new pope was elected, there were two rival claimants to that office: one from within the College of Cardinals and one from without. This situation lasted for centuries until 1415 when Pope Gregory XII resigned from his office and left it vacant for more than three years (from 1416 to 1420).
As Francis is already Pope, there is considerable uncertainty about what the camerlengo will now do.
In the Middle Ages, there was no template for how to resolve a papal election. The popes of the Middle Ages were not elected according to any formula or protocol. They were elected by the cardinals, who were in turn elected by their colleagues. There was no “rules” to guide them. It was up to each pope how he would run his office and he could easily use his power of veto as an effective tool against changes that he did not like.
The Middle Ages do not provide a template, because when Gregory XII resigned in 1415 his aim was to bring an end to years of division involving rival challengers to the papacy (eg: Antipope John XXIII).
The pope is then buried in the grotto beneath the basilica.
The Middle Ages don’t provide a template, because when Gregory XII resigned in 1415, his aim was to bring an end to years of division involving rival challengers to the papacy. The “Catholic” or “Roman” church of the Middle Ages was not a unified institution; it was made up of competing factions that could not agree on anything, from dogma to offices to who got to fill them.
It is also not helpful to say that people in the Middle Ages were not interested in science. They were very interested in science. They just weren’t happy with the way science was done: they thought it should be based on rational arguments and empirical evidence, rather than divine authority and tradition.
Vatican affairs writer Massimo Franco told the BBC that all the procedures would have to be “written from scratch”, and that following Benedict’s resignation in 2013 the Catholic Church did not specify what would be done when he died.
Pope Francis has warned that the death of Pope Benedict XVI could have “unforeseen consequences” on the papacy.
He made the comments in an interview with a French Catholic daily newspaper, Le Figaro, published on Friday.
The 79-year-old pontiff said Benedict’s resignation was “not easy to accept”, adding that he had “seen him often”.
He also warned the death of Benedict could have unforeseen consequences on the papacy, such as normalising the resignation of a pope.
“For some within the Catholic Church, the resignation of Benedict represents a unique circumstance that will never have to be repeated,” he said. “The Vatican is a very different place now than it was before Pope Benedict’s resignation.”
“To me, it’s clear that this is not simply about old age or fatigue,” he said. “It’s something more serious, but also something that represents an opportunity for a new beginning.”
For some within the Catholic Church, the resignation of Benedict represents a unique circumstance that will never have to be repeated,” he said.
As Benedict was previously the head of state of Vatican City – an independent city-state surrounded by Rome and governed by the Pope – it is possible there will be a state funeral with foreign leaders invited, but even that to date is uncharted territory.