From EWTN News:
The full text of the Pope’s announcement follows. More details to come.
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 bark 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 fulfill 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, 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
To read Bishop Murphy’s statement click here<
Following is a statement by New York State Catholic Conference Executive Director Richard E. Barnes:
“Today’s announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he is stepping down on February 28 brings feelings of sadness, but also of profound gratitude and respect for a man whose legacy will be as great as he was gentle. Having taken office at the age of 78, and following Blessed Pope John Paul II, many pundits expected him to be simply a ‘caretaker’ pope. Instead, he became a historic figure in his own right through his theological writings; his compassion for suffering people, particularly victims of clergy sexual abuse; his commitment to interfaith dialogue; his embrace of social media; and his tireless continuation of the New Evangelization.
“His recognition of his own limitations is a beautiful example of selflessness and sacrifice on behalf of the Church. We at the New York State Catholic Conference send our prayers for his health, peace and serenity as he embarks on the final chapter of his remarkable life.”