“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 barque 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 fulfil 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 (7pm GMT), 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.”
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
As our ﬁrst major parish pilgrimage we will travel to the Eternal City. As well as having time to enjoy the atmosphere of Rome and the ancient Roman sites we will have Mass at St Peter’s basilica as well as a Papal General Audience. We will visit the four major basilicas and the catacombs. We will visit the English College (our oldest institution abroad and training place of the English martyrs) and especially for us the monastery of St Gregory the Great from
which St Augustine was sent to Thanet. From Rome we will travel north to follow in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare, visiting the inspiring medieval pilgrimage places in and around Assisi. With the help of PAX travel we have been able to book the Hotel della Conciliazione from Monday 4th to Thursday 7th November, followed by the Hotel San Giacomo in Assisi (just a few minutes’ walk from the Basilica of S. Francesco) for two nights from 7th – 9th November. We will take an early ﬂight out to Rome on Monday 4th, and leave Rome in the early afternoon of the seventh to go to Assisi, ﬂying back on the late afternoon of 9th November from Rome to Gatwick. You can have approximately three days in Rome and nearly two days in Assisi. The basic cost is £599 which includes ﬂights, dinner, bed and breakfast each day and twin-bedded en-suite rooms in the Conziliazione (5 minutes walk
from St Peters) and in the Assisi hotel (there is a supplement for single rooms). It also includes airport transfers by coach plus 2 x half day coach trips in Rome and coach transfers to and from Assisi. A local Italian speaking tour manager will assist us and take away any practical worries! There is a list at the back of the Church to sign and give your address (or you can give Fr Marcus a note) to show initial interest. Places are limited so please register your interest now. Further details of the programme and how to book will then be sent to you.