28 February 2013

The See of Peter is vacant...

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's last public words, addressed to the College of Cardinals:
Before greeting you each personally, I desire to tell you that I will continue to be near to you in prayer, especially in the upcoming days, so that you may be entirely docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of a new Pope.  May the Lord show you what He wants you to do.  And among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is the future Pope, to whom I, already, promise my unconditioned reverence and obedience For this, with affection and thanksgiving, I impart to you from my heart the Apostolic Blessing.
Contrary to what everyone in the secular world apparently thinks, these are not the words of a man who is somehow going to influence the election of his successor from behind the scenes.  This is it, and likely the last time anyone will see him in public until his funeral.

From this lowly layman, mille grazie, Papa.  You have been far more that a "simple and humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord" and have shaped the lives of countless Catholics more than you will ever know.  The Church will be eternally grateful for your life and your witness.

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