Pope Benedict XVI Resigns


Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation February 11, 2013, effective at the end of the month. He is the first pope to resign in more than 600 years. In this time of transition for the Catholic Church, we pray for our Holy Father and for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration in the selection of the next pope.

About Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI was elected on April 19, 2005, in a papal conclave.

Visit to the United States in 2008 (with FAQ about the pope)

Encyclicals and Other Writings (at Vatican Web site)


Meet a Pope

Help Wanted to Serve Others

Prayer for Vocations Posters

Vocational Brochures


Child’s Prayer for Religious Leaders

Prayer for Vocations

The Papacy

The papacy has not always been the way it is today. There was always a sense of the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, but it took a long time for Christians in other parts of the Christian world to look on the Bishop of Rome as their papa. During the Middle Ages the popes became politically powerful, and there was even a sizeable country, the Papal States, that wielded considerable power in its time. It was only after the Second Vatican Council that popes stopped wearing the tiara, which seems to have symbolized their position as universal pastor, their universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and their temporal power. The papacy has always served as a sign of unity within the Catholic community, but within the total Christian community it has often been a source of contention. That has changed somewhat in recent decades under the impetus of ecumenism. Today there is a strong papacy guiding the Church and giving a strong witness to the values that are basic to the Catholic tradition.