Papal Resignation Roundup

Well, folks, it’s been quite the week.  Besides our annual entrance into Lent on Wednesday, Monday also saw the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – the first pope to do this in centuries.  As we look to the end of Benedict’s pontificate, the “interregnum” (literally, between reigns), the conclave, and, finally, the election of a new pope, it promises to be an exciting month for the Church and for the world.

We’ll do what we can to keep you updated on news as it develops.  To start, here are a few great articles, videos, and general quotes to consider if you’re in need of playing catch-up on resignation news:

In Benedict’s Own Words:

Reaction from bishops in the United States:

Remembering Benedict’s Legacy

What’s next?  
The Church awaits word on a conclave date, which is to be determined by the cardinals who will elect the next pope.

What should I do? 
This is a unique time in the life of the Church.  The best thing any of us can do is to pray very much for the Holy Father, the cardinal electors who will participate in the conclave, and the next man who will be Successor to St. Peter, known, at this moment, only to God.  If you are interested, join us for a rosary in the St. Paul’s Chapel at 8:40PM on Monday nights, starting on February 18th and ending upon the election of a new pope.  

Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us and pray for the Pope! 

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Cardinal Dolan…or Bruce Wayne?

From Cardinal Dolan’s twitter page:

Lots of folks have asked me about the cape photo from CUA’s [Catholic University of America] commencement.  I call it my Batman pose: 

Cardinal Dolan Batman 1

The same day as this photograph, Cardinal Dolan delivered an excellent commencement address to the Catholic University of America’s Class of 2012.

Here’s a tidbit of the awesomeness:

Jesus Christ … His Church … this university … truth … love … the words of Pope Benedict … the achievement and hopes of the Class of 2012 …

Let me try to bring all of these together with the coherence I learned at this University.

Might I suggest these all coalesce in what we call the Law of the Gift.

“Greater love than this no one has, than to give one’s life for one’s friends.”  There’s the Law of the Gift as defined by the Son of God Himself.

“For we are at our best, we are most fully alive and human, when we give away freely and sacrificially our very selves in love for one another.” There’s the Law of the Gift as described by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Not long ago I at a dinner I sat next to Admiral Mike Mullen, a Marine, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, himself a Catholic, who asked me, “What percent of the American population is Catholic?”

I replied, “I’m not sure exactly, but I think about 24%.”

“But do you realize,” he went on, “that 40% of the Marine Corps identify themselves as Catholic?”

I did not realize that, but I was not surprised, nor was Admiral Mullen, for at the heart of the Church’s ethos is the Law of the Gift, and it would be tough to be a Marine if you didn’t believe in that.

Or, as the head of the department of pediatric oncology at a leading hospital recently told me, “Cardinal Dolan, I’m not even a religious believer, but, when I hire doctors, nurses, attendants, or staff for this grueling work of trying to heal kids with cancer, the applicants who are alumni of Catholic school have a leg up.”

I didn’t know that either, but, I’m hardly surprised, for, while it’s not listed in any catalogue, the course on the Law of the Gift is part of the DNA of any Catholic school, this sterling one included.

… At this university where every classroom features the most effective audio-visual aid of them all, the crucifix; and where the entire campus is overshadowed by the dome of the shrine devoted to the Jewish woman who whispered, “Be it done unto me according to Your will, not mine,” that I’m looking out at graduates who have majored in this Law of the Gift. 

If you have an opportunity, do read the entire address by Cardinal Dolan – it is fantastic!