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Pope Benedict XVI leads his last Angelus as pope at Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final Sunday Angelus address before a packed St. Peter’s Square. The pilgrims in attendance interrupted his address with applause more than once and he closed by stressing that his resignation is not an abandoning of the Church. After reflecting on the Gospel of Luke’s account

POPE TALKS WITH U.S. PRESIDENT AT VATICAN
By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service  WASHINGTON (CNS) — During Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to the White House in 2008, his thoughts turned to the First Amendment and its enshrinement of the free practice of religion. He told President George W. Bush that the idea of religious freedom as expressed

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has ordered several changes to the Masses and liturgies that will mark the inauguration of the next pope’s pontificate. Rites and gestures that are not strictly sacramental will take place either before a Mass or in a

  Curious what Pope Benedict XVI‘s immediate successor will look like? Almost certainly he will be chosen from among the 117 Cardinal-electors pictured below. A cardinal must be below the age of 80 to vote and participate in the conclave. While a person does not need to be a cardinal

Pope Benedict XVI delivers a talk at the conclusion of a Mass for the Knights of Malta. The Vatican says the pope is considering changes to conclave rules as his papacy nears an end. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI is considering making some changes to the conclave rules and rituals before he leaves office Feb. 28, the Vatican spokesman confirmed. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, told reporters Feb. 20 that any papal document is more

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, left, celebrates mass on the feast of Our Lady of Suyapa Feb. 3 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Suyapa in Honduras. Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr, right, concelebrated.
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, 70, is a personal ambassador of the Catholic Church’s emergency relief and development aid and probably the best-known Latin American member of the College of Cardinals. In May 2011, he was elected to a

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Calling this an unusual time for him and for the church — but not specifically mentioning his resignation — Pope Benedict XVI thanked people for their affection and asked them to continue their prayers. A roar of applause rose up

By Catholic News Service  WASHINGTON (CNS) — Here are excerpts of statements from U.S. Catholic and other religious leaders released in reaction to Pope Benedict XVI’s Feb. 11 announcement that he is resigning, effective Feb. 28: — Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles: “Pope Benedict XVI has truly been

Pope Benedict XVI leads general audience at Vatican
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At his first public appearance since he announced that he would resign at the end of February, Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their love and prayers and asked them to pray for his successor. “I have felt,

Lightning illuminates sky over St. Peter's Basilica in evening at Vatican
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign the papacy was a “surprise, like thunder that gives no notice that it’s coming,” said one of the cardinals who was in the room when the pope announced his decision Feb. 11. “We