This evening, while the sun was still shining, Pope Benedict XVI left the Apostolic Palace inside Vatican City, accompanied by Cardinal Angelo Comastri and Cardinal Agostino Vallini.
At about 5 p.m., before getting in the car that would take him to the helicopter, he said goodbye to the staff at the Vatican, and to Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo.
At 5:05 p.m., as the bells at St. Peter’s Basilica rang out across the Square, the all-white helicopter took off towards Castel Gandolfo.
The flight first swept toward the Janiculum Hill, then turned and in a long arc passed back over St. Peter’s Basilica, then across the Tiber River and over the center of the Eternal City, above some of the major landmarks, like the Colosseum and the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
Upon arriving at Castel Gandolfo, after about a 15-minute flight, the Pope was welcomed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the bishop of Albano, as well as the mayor of Castel Gandolfo.
A car took the Pope to the the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo at about 5:30 p.m. Hundreds of pilgrims were there to hear the last few words of Benedict XVI as Pope.
The Pope entered the palace, then appeared at the window above the main portals.
The Pope’s words from the window of the palace:
“I am simply a pilgrim that begins his last phase on this Earth,” Benedict said.
“I would like to, with all my heart, my prayer and my reflection, with all the strength inside me, work for the common good and the good of the Church and humanity.
“I feel very supported by your sympathy.
“Lets move forward together, with the Lord, for the good of the Church and the world. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing.”
After giving them his blessing, Benedict XVI said goodbye. It was his last appearance as Pope.
At 8 p.m., his pontificate ended, and the “sede vacante” began.
His light in the papal apartments was dark this evening. In the square below, small groups of faithful were praying quietly, or singing hymns, at 10 p.m. this evening.
During the period when there is no Pope, all Vatican department heads will temporarily lose their posts, until a new Pope is elected.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the “Camerlengo” or Chamberlain, sealed the empty Papal apartments to prevent anyone from entering or exiting until the new Pope is elected.
Tomorrow, March 1st, all cardinals will receive a letter from the Dean of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano. The letter will officially state that Benedict XVI has retired, calling on them to come to Rome to elect his successor.
It is still not clear when the actual Conclave will begin. The Italian cardinals seem to prefer having an early Conclave, beginning as early as March 9, but some of the non-Italian cardinals would seem to prefer a Conclave that begins later, on March 15, or even a few days later.
(to be continued…)
- Yale considers footing bill for student sex changes
- Human Life International Proud to Participate in March for Marriage
- Leading British politician backs giving out morning-after pill at schools
- Mom performs CPR on newborn daughter, saves her life
- Suicide decriminalization does not create a right to die
- Michigan college hosts ‘STD Bingo’ night on campus
- Doctors warn against expanding abortion ‘rights’ in New York
|Yale considers footing bill for student sex changes
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 11:42 AM PST
Yale is considering joining Brown, Penn, Harvard and Cornell universities by picking up the tab for Ivy League students who want sex changes.
|Human Life International Proud to Participate in March for Marriage
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 11:33 AM PST
Human Life International is proud to participate in this historic March for Marriage.
|Leading British politician backs giving out morning-after pill at schools
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 11:28 AM PST
It is a “great idea” to allow the morning-after pill to be handed out in schools, a leading GP in England has said. But there is concern that such a move would seriously undermine parents.
|Mom performs CPR on newborn daughter, saves her life
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 10:33 AM PST
Just after giving birth at her home, one mother had to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her newborn daughter in order to save her life.
|Suicide decriminalization does not create a right to die
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 04:39 AM PST
The Irish Supreme Court has ruled that the decriminalization of suicide does not necessarily create a ‘right to die,’ despite euthanasia proponents’ arguments to the contrary.
|Michigan college hosts ‘STD Bingo’ night on campus
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 03:38 AM PST
Central Michigan University (CMU) will host a “Condom Casino” on Wednesday night, in which students can gamble to win condoms in games such as “5 Card Foreplay Poker” and “STD Bingo.”
|Doctors warn against expanding abortion ‘rights’ in New York
Posted: 28 Feb 2013 02:47 AM PST
|Thursday, February 28, 2013|
|40 years of the culture of death: A pastoral letter
on the occasion of the anniversary of ‘Roe v. Wade’
I went to college in 1968 with the idea of becoming a doctor, like my father. College campuses in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s were places of turmoil. I didn’t practice my faith much in the first three years of college and I certainly never imagined that the Lord would one day make me a bishop. I spent my first three years of college working as a hospital orderly and assisting in the emergency room, at a university student health center, and in a hospital in California during summer break. When I began the job, I hadn’t thought much about human suffering, or about human dignity. But during my employment in hospitals, something changed. At that time, some states had approved abortion laws that I wasn’t even aware of. Because of those laws, when I was in college I witnessed the results of two abortions.
[ Click here to read more. ]
February 28, 2013 A.D.
It was April 19, 2005. People began to call Caritas and said the conclave has elected a new pope. It would be announced soon. The whole Community of Caritas gathered around the radio for the exciting news of who would step out on the balcony. The white smoke had risen up, signaling to the world the conclave of Cardinals had chosen a successor of Peter after Pope John Paul II’s death. But though it was announced that the one who would be the man who would step out on the balcony, would take place in “the next few minutes,” it did not happen. Cameras around the world showed the vacant balcony, while across the earth, millions waited. The delay continued even as reports continued to say that it was about to happen. As the delay strangely continued, we, at Caritas, began to experience a conflict. It was 11:00 a.m.* and the bells had begun ringing to call us to the Field for the prayer of the Rosary. We pray this Rosary at the same time the evening Rosary is being prayed in Medjugorje in anticipation of Our Lady’s daily apparition to the earth. With the bells beginning to ring, we knew we were 40 minutes away from apparition time. Though we had already been listening to the radio for a ½ hour, we began heading to the Field. Never, since 1988, has the Rosary not been prayed in the Field. Every day, consecutively for 25 years to date, the Rosary has been prayed in the Field on our knees in preparation for Our Lady’s visitation upon the earth. Even for this occasion, we were not going to stop the Rosary, though we dearly wanted to hear on the radio when the new Pontiff was named the moment he stepped out. We were all disappointed over this when the idea came that we would take a pickup truck out to the Field and leave the live radio broadcast playing while we prayed the Rosary, turning it down where we could barely hear it. We began the Rosary. The older kids sat with the four doors opened ready to turn the radio up at the moment the new Pontiff walked out. The first decade – no Pope. The second and third – the same. We were amazed, “Why is this taking so long? They know who it is. Why doesn’t he come forward?” By now, the news reporters were complaining that it was an unusual delay. Here it was announced he would come out within five minutes and now we were going beyond an hour waiting. The fourth decade was prayed. We began the fifth decade. Why such a delay?
Years ago, we were going to Rome often because of our mission. We had an apartment just across the street from the Vatican. It is the closest living quarters to St. Peters you can get. When you looked out the windows of the apartment, you did not look out over buildings or the Vatican walls. You were looking directly at St. Peters Basilica and the opening to the famous square just next door. In a one minute walk out the apartment door, you could cross the street and pass in front of the building where the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Faith offices are located. Sometimes, as we walked, we would cross paths in St. Peter’s square with Cardinal Ratzinger who at times would walked to his office as head of the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Faith. We would say hello and he would smile and respond back in English. We casually walk by not wanting to bother him by stopping and talking to him, though we had been told he would talk to those who asked to speak to him. This time was the period of John Paul II’s reign. So who could have known these simple encounters with Ratzinger would mean something much more a couple of years later?
In the Field of Apparitions, on April 19, 2005, we finished the fifth decade of the Rosary and began the Hail Holy Queen. No pope on the balcony – the delay continued. Right on time for the apparition of Our Lady at 11:40 a.m., we finished the prayer and at this exact moment, out steps the new Pope. Pope Benedict! Cardinal Ratzinger!
Some of us could have never imagined in that transition after John Paul’s death that the humble man who we had met on a few occasions crossing the Vatican square, who had been so accessible to anyone who stopped him, would suddenly become the Holy Father for a billion people.
Immediately after Rosary, we called Marija in Italy and talked to her about what happened. She, like us, was in conflict anxiously waiting for the next Pope to step out on the balcony. As we listened in the Field, at the same time praying the Rosary, Marija was praying the Rosary and waiting while watching the empty balcony on an Italian network. Marija had finished her Rosary and began reciting the Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s for the arrival of Our Lady. Just seconds before the moment of the apparition, the broadcast announced the new Pope was stepping out. It was at this moment Our Lady appeared to Marija. The whole world watched as the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now the new Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI, stepped out onto the balcony while Marija watched Our Lady!
Instantly the whole world knew who it was within only a few seconds, while Marija did not know! Marija told us that she went into ecstasy just as the new Pontiff was going to step out. She said she didn’t know who it was until after the apparition! We asked Marija about this timing of the Pope stepping out after more than an hour’s delay, at the same time of the apparition, that this could not, by any chance, not be a sign of God that Pope Benedict was Our Lady’s choice.
Marija continued, yes, it was a sign for her as well. When Marija was asked what did this repeated delay mean when it ended exactly with the moment Our Lady appeared, Marija said something profound. She said it meant, “The Church is safe!”
This was a sign, a big sign for us the way it unfolded – the delay and then at the moment Pope Benedict comes out, Our Lady is appearing upon the earth, signaling to us THE CHURCH IS SAFE.
So now what are we to make of the events of Pope Benedict’s sudden resignation – this eight year period coming to an end of the Church being safe under Benedict’s care? What are we to make of the timing of his announcement, of his stepping down, and that the incredible lightning bolt following his resignation, dramatically striking not only the Vatican, but the Cross on top of St. Peter’s Basilica itself ? It is Our Lady who said:
March 25, 1990
“…God…sends you messages through…nature …”
Why does God send us messages through nature? Our Lady tells us why. Because
March 25, 1990
“…God wants to save you…”
So to save us, Our Lady said, God, therefore:
March 25, 1990
“…sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things…”
In regards to the lightning bolt, can it be said or discounted that it was not that big of a deal? Add to the fact that a second circumstance in the instance was that it was caught perfectly on camera. Was this a double coincidence? Add yet, thirdly, that it occurred after an announcement of the Pope’s resignation and the ensuing of the changing of the guard to a new Pontiff. What does this mean? Three improbable coinciding events lined up together. Is the Church about to undergo a great trial? It was John Paul II who said at the October 8, 2000 Act of Entrustment to Mary Most Holy:
“…Mankind now has instruments of unprecedented power: we can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble. We have devised the astounding capacity to intervene in the very wellsprings of life: man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law, or he can succumb to the shortsighted pride of a science which accepts no limits, but tramples on the respect due to every man. Today as never before in the past, mankind stands at a crossroads…”
Indeed we are at a crossroad. Which way will we turn? We have two directions simultaneously pulling at us in our heart. And now, at the crossroad, we must decide for one or the other. To remain within our being two opposing ways is to be in contradiction. We must separate from one or the other – from evil or good. No longer can we remain in both places. John Paul II said of this contradiction:
“…We are then men of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions…”
Indeed, we are filled with contradictions. Our hearts have both evil and good in them, and we are spending all our energies struggling in battle, feeding both together. It is a contradiction that Our Lady just spoke of and that John Paul II spoke of on October 8, 2000 A.D.
Our Lady said February 25, 2013:
“…Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you…”
America, especially, has not fully recognized this struggle and battle within us that is a contradiction and we, therefore, try to make the contradictions come into oneness, yet it only further divides our heart. Before he became Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla said to the American Bishops in 1976:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation mankind has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. It is a trial which the Church must take up!”
“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is not longer possible to avert it…How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”1
Cardinal Wojtyla (future Pope John Paul II) stated through prayer one could alleviate this tribulation, but it cannot be avoided. That was in 1976.
Amazingly, Medjugorje visionary Mirjana said the same thing in 1982, “that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted thanks to prayer and fasting. That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting.”2
But Our Lady said in regard to the other secrets, that they cannot be avoided. It is too late. They can only be alleviated or mitigated through prayer and fasting just as John Paul II stated when he was a Cardinal: “It is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it.”3
With all these things in mind, no one can discount Pope Benedict’s resignation, the lightning bolt, and it being caught on camera, as mere coincidences. There is no other view for the Christian, that there is a message in these events. The question is, does the lightning bolt suggest that in the near future the Church, nay all Christianity will be struck?
Newsbusters publisher, Brent Bozell, stated on February 13, 2013 AD:
“Instead of reporting the historic news of Pope Benedict’s resignation, ABC World News, Diane Sawyer used the opportunity to bludgeon the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict with every left-wing grievance imaginable. It was disgusting and deeply offensive assault on the Church.”
Most of the media has no use of God except when they can use Him for the agendas they put forth. The newspaper, USA Today, in the February 26, 2013, issue stated of Pope Benedict:
“upon coming Pope…he took the name after St. Benedict who lived in a cave.”
USA Today then added:
“As Pope Benedict prepares to end his papacy, his critics say the challenges he’ll leave to his successor are the result of him living in a cave of his own.”
The Italian media is publishing many assaults, distortions and lies as well.
During ABC’s report on the Pope’s resignation, while interviewing Cardinal Dolan, Diane Sawyer spontaneously tried to put him on the spot by holding up the picture of the Vatican being struck by lightning, asking the Cardinal what he thought of it. Along with other statements, in what way did Sawyer “bludgeon the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict” by her stealth and ironical use of this picture. She desired to imply that it was God’s anger striking the Church, as evil, because its sins for being against the right to abortion, the right to contraception, the right to abominable marriages, etc., and the Church’s stand against humanist secularism of who suddenly believe in God when it can be conveniently used against the Church as Sawyer did.
While God does purify his Church for its sins and the Church membership must always be aware that we will all one day atone for our sins, we are not to allow leftist secularist to define our purification, such as what Diane Sawyer was doing in suggesting the Church’s stance on moral truths, and being against immorality is the cause of the lightning strike. God struck Israel because of its sins and He purified them. God didn’t change the moral truths to accommodate decadence, rather He purified Israel because of the failure to live moral truth, particularly as defined through the Ten Commandments. Diane Sawyer, strategically, no doubt, and calculatingly showed this picture because the media is a promoter of “secular humanist philosophy.” They make use of events, such as the lightning strike to package their reports and stories in such a way as to imply that the Church is wrong on issues that society see as “human rights” contradicting the truth of Christian principles that it is “human responsibilities” to live moral truth and by natural law. Therefore, they attack the Church for its teachings about sin, decadence, abnormal and abominable behaviors. Sawyer, by holding the picture of the lightning striking the Vatican, displayed her belief that the lightning bolt ‘was’ a sign, a sign that the Church is the villain. Interestingly enough, the lightning bolt is a millionth of a second from hitting and striking the Cross. Look and meditate on the picture. Meditate on the space between the bolt and the Cross.
This is also a message that God sends, related to the statement of Christ in Scripture that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. As the Cross in the picture is not yet struck, the lightning is at its door. The reason we have Our Lady coming everyday for 31 years is to stop, at the final millionth of a second, the gates of hell opening into the Church. We can say in absolute truth, the gates of hell
Thank you for contacting me about religious freedom. As someone who believes in protecting our religious liberties from government overreach, I appreciate hearing from you.
In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandate that incited a national debate about the appropriate role of government in our lives and the right of religious institutions to the free exercise of their faiths. This mandate, which I oppose, requires employer-sponsored health insurance plans to provide coverage for prescription contraceptives, including abortion-inducing pills, and female sterilization. Many faith-based institutions believe these services to be deeply immoral.
After weeks of public outrage from religious members of many different faiths, the administration responded by offering what it called an "accommodation." Under this deceptively modified rule, these very same plans will have to be provided to the same employees of the same institutions. The only difference is that the administration would have us believe that certain services would now come without any cost. However, businesses do not really provide services for free, regardless of fiats issued by the government. Clearly, the costs of contraception services will be passed along in higher insurance premiums for employers. In the end, all institutions will still be required to pay for all mandated services, including those services deemed objectionable on moral grounds.
In the 112th Congress, I joined my colleagues in fighting this mandate, co-sponsoring two important pieces of legislation. The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467), introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), would have protected individuals and medical providers from new federal mandates under PPACA that could undermine rights of conscience. Similarly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (S. 2043), introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), would have provided a religious exemption from forcing members of religious entities to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs by mandating coverage for contraception and sterilization. You may be interested to know that Senator Blunt offered S. 1467 as an amendment to the highway bill (S. 1813) on March 1, 2012. Unfortunately, the Senate rejected this bipartisan amendment, in spite of my support for it, on a 51-48 vote (60 votes were required for adoption).
On February 1, 2013, HHS published additional detail on how the so-called "accommodation" will be enacted. Unfortunately, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking only confirmed the administration’s refusal to provide a meaningful exemption for religiously affiliated entities. In spite of this setback, please know that I remain committed to upholding our constitutional right of conscience and will continue to do so in this new Congress.
Thank you again for your correspondence on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania
Marija: The Pope was powerless
By Jakob Marschner on Feb 28, 2013
Deciding to abdicate was a great gesture of Pope Benedict XVI. For he was powerless, and so he will likely give more to the world through prayer and silence, says visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti. After a recent visit to Ireland, she tells the Virgin Mary invites the seers to visit certain places.Marija during an apparition, October 2011
Benedict XVI was powerless, and his decision to abdicate should be seen as a great gesture from a Pope who realized he can contribute better and more by other means than working, Medjugorje visionary Marija-Pavlovic-Lunetti told Radio Maria on February 25.
“For all of us, this is a big thing. On the other hand, for me it is a great gesture of the Pope, this gesture of withdrawing, because he was powerless. I think he will give us even more than with his work, through his prayer and silence, like he told us” Marija said.Marija’s conversation partner, Radio Maria director Fr. Livio Fanzaga, meeting Pope Benedict XVI in 2012
“Let us also pray for the new Pope, that the Lord will help illuminate him through the Holy Spirit, and that is a Pope who will guide us in this new time. Today humanity has much need of people like Pope. Let us pray that he is brave and strong, a true man of God, truly. The Holy Spirit will do so” the seer continued.
Mary asks for visits
Asked to tell about her recent visit to Ireland, Marija started out by telling that the Virgin Mary asks the Medjugorje visionaries to visit the specific places they go.
“Our Lady invites us to go here and there, to give our testimony” Marija said.Marija talking in Dublin on February 21. Photo: Una Williams
“The Church in Ireland is going through a very difficult time. Ireland is close to recognize gay marriage, abortion – all things that are against man and against God’s law, satanic things.”
“Once Ireland was a Catholic country. Unfortunately, a few years ago, there were problems with pedophile priests that have done great damage in Ireland. Many people have distanced themselves from the Church. Many priests left the Church because of this problem” the seer recounted.Royal Dublin Society where Marija spoke
“I think the Church in Ireland did not have the strength to react. So I hope, with my testimony, my trip to Ireland and especially with the presence of Our Lady, that Ireland gets a little more courage to go forward because without God we have no future, as Our Lady told us.”
Deliverance from evil takes prayer
Marija was on the phone to Radio Maria to transmit the message the Virgin Mary had given her breiefly before, and Radio Maria director Fr. Livio specifically asked her how she understood the message sentence “you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you”?The Virgin Mary of Medjugorje on a statue that was common in the early days of the apparitions
“I think the Madonna meant that we often think of doing good, but in reality we are doing evil. That often the devil comes in a disguise of good, instead of evil. We are in the time of Lent, and we are invited to penance, fasting and prayer” Marija answered.
“I remember an event from many years ago. A possessed lady arrived during the prayer of the Rosary before the apparition. At one point (youngest visionary) Jakov began sprinkling holy water on himself” she continued.
“We started laughing and asked him: “What is happening?”. Jakov told us: “Some devil could also have come inside of me, because I have had many temptations not to pray.” He prayed to be delivered.”
“She turned her back on the side where Our Lady appeared. We prayed for her deliverance. We must pray for the Lord to deliver us from all that is not of God, that is not ours, that is of the devil” Marija told Radio Maria.
Gabriel Paulino transcribed and translated from Italian
Spirit Daily is circulating this article