WBEZ | Pope Benedict XVI http://www.wbez.org/tags/pope-benedict-xvi Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pope Benedict XVI to resign http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/pope-resign-feb-28-says-hes-too-infirm-105454 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS7001_AP618392761081(2)-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated: 1:30 p.m.</em></p><p>Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too old and too infirm to carry on &mdash; the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.</p><p>The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.</p><p>The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning. Pope Benedict XVI emphasized in his announcement that carrying out the duties of being pope &mdash; the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide &mdash; requires &quot;both strength of mind and body.&quot;</p><p>&quot;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,&quot; he told the cardinals. &quot;I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.</p><p>&quot;However, in today&#39;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 barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary &mdash; strengths 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.&quot;</p><p>The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.</p><p>Benedict called his choice &quot;a decision of great importance for the life of the church.&quot;</p><p>Cardinal Francis George said in a statement that Pope Benedict XVI&#39;s decision to resign at the end of the month shows &quot;great courage,&quot; adding that the pope has always &quot;placed the will of God for the good of the Church before every other consideration.&quot;</p><p>Cardinal George, 76, is the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves more than 2 million Roman Catholics. George may play a role in electing the next pope since all cardinals under age 80 are allowed to vote in a secret meeting held at the Sistine Chapel.</p><p>The bishop of Joliet, R. Daniel Conlon, also issued a statement Monday stating the pope&#39;s announcement &quot;comes as a surprise to all of us,&quot; yet is consistent with the pope&#39;s &quot;humble disposition.&quot;</p><p>The head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests was more critical. SNAP President Barbara Blaine called Pope Benedict&rsquo;s handling of priest sex abuse cases &ldquo;dismal.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It sure would be nice if the pope would use his last two weeks in office to really make a difference and take some decisive action that would really protect children,&rdquo; Blaine said.</p><p>SNAP is calling on Pope Benedict to use his final weeks in office to take a stance on priest sex abuse.</p><p>When it comes to selecting a new pope, SNAP says the church should pick someone committed to transparency who will insist that church officials cooperate with law enforcement.</p><p>The Vatican will hold a conclave by mid-March to decide who will become the next pope.</p><p>There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner &mdash; the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.</p><p>When Benedict was elected pope at age 78 &mdash; already the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years &mdash; he had been already planning to retire as the Vatican&#39;s chief orthodoxy watchdog to spend his final years writing in the &quot;peace and quiet&quot; of his native Bavaria.</p><p>Contenders to be his successor include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican&#39;s office for bishops.</p><p>Longshots include Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Although Dolan is popular and backs the pope&#39;s conservative line, the general thinking is that the Catholic Church doesn&#39;t need a pope from a &quot;superpower.&quot;</p><p>All cardinals under age 80 are allowed to vote in the conclave, the secret meeting held in the Sistine Chapel where cardinals cast ballots to elect a new pope. As per tradition, the ballots are burned after each voting round; black smoke that snakes out of the chimney means no pope has been chosen, while white smoke means a pope has been elected.</p><p>Popes are allowed to resign; church law specifies only that the resignation be &quot;freely made and properly manifested.&quot;</p><p>Only a handful have done so, however and there&#39;s good reason why it hasn&#39;t become commonplace: Might the existence of two popes &mdash; even when one has stepped down &mdash; lead to divisions and instability in the church? Might a new resignation precedent lead to pressures on future popes to quit at the slightest hint of infirmity?</p><p>Benedict himself raised the possibility of resigning if he were simply too old or sick to continue on in 2010, when he was interviewed for the book Light of the World.</p><p>&quot;If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign,&quot; Benedict said.</p><p>The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had an intimate view as Pope John Paul II, with whom he had worked closely for nearly a quarter-century, suffered through the debilitating end of his papacy.</p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Rebecca Kruth contributed to this report.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/pope-resign-feb-28-says-hes-too-infirm-105454 Cardinal George ‘fearful’ about cancer but vows to keep working http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/cardinal-george-%E2%80%98fearful%E2%80%99-about-cancer-vows-keep-working-101958 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CardinalGeorge2.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 306px; width: 250px; " title="The leader of more than 2 million Chicago-area Catholics expects to hear next week about treatment options. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />The spiritual leader of more than 2 million Chicago-area Roman Catholics says he is expecting to hear more next week about cancer found in his body and about treatment options.</p><p>Cardinal Francis George on Friday night made his first public appearance since finding out a week earlier that cancerous cells were in his liver and kidney.</p><p>&ldquo;We all live with the Lord as much as possible,&rdquo; he told reporters before attending a fundraiser for his archdiocese&rsquo;s Hispanic ministry. &ldquo;If this is a call to be with him for eternity, then that&rsquo;s a welcome call in that sense. But it&rsquo;s also a fearful call, because there&rsquo;s so much that&rsquo;s unknown.&rdquo;</p><p>George, 75, looked healthy but said medical tests had weakened him. He said Mayo Clinic physicians would help analyze the test results.</p><p>A 2006 cancer battle led to the removal of his bladder, prostate and part of a ureter. &ldquo;I had felt I&rsquo;d licked something and I didn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; the cardinal said. &ldquo;And so that isn&rsquo;t a good feeling.&rdquo;</p><p>George grew up in St. Pascal Parish on Chicago&rsquo;s Northwest Side. He has headed the Chicago archdiocese, which covers Cook and Lake counties, for 15 years. From 2007 to 2010, he was also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.</p><p>The cardinal said he would keep his public schedule unless treatment affected his immune system. He said he was waiting for more information about his condition before informing Pope Benedict XVI.</p></p> Fri, 24 Aug 2012 21:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/cardinal-george-%E2%80%98fearful%E2%80%99-about-cancer-vows-keep-working-101958 In dissidents' arrest following Pope’s Cuba visit, a Cardinal neglects his flock http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-05/dissidents-arrest-following-pope%E2%80%99s-cuba-visit-cardinal-neglects-his-flock <p><p>Cuban authorities arrested dissidents Vladimir Calderón and Julio Beltrán on April 28. Their crime? The two men were accused of passing out anti-government flyers and organizing an anti-government march on May 1. Both men were publicly beaten as they were arrested.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120327019242.jpg" style="height: 429px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Pope Benedict XVI walks with Cuba's Cardinal Jaime Ortega, right, as he waves upon his arrival in Havana in late March. (AP/Franklin Reyes)"></div><p>If anyone should be held responsible should something happen to Calderón and Beltrán while in custody, I point a finger squarely at Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega.</p><p>The crux of this story lies in Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to the island. Dissident groups saw an opportunity to have this self-proclaimed man of peace intercede with the government for them, or at the very least acknowledge them. Many Cuban dissident groups are Catholic, including the country’s best known opposition group, The Ladies in White.</p><p>Calderon and Beltrán’s group, the Republican Party of Cuba, is small and mostly unknown. They meet and pray together on the 13th of every month at the Church of the Virgin of Charity in central Havana, a crumbling neighborhood of tremendous poverty and crime just outside the city’s tourist belt.</p><p>When they learned of the Pope’s impending visit, they prepared a list of demands they hoped the pontiff would discuss with President Raul Castro. The demands included freedom for political prisoners, a stop to the repression of dissidents, freedom to travel, freedom of association, economic freedom, access to private property, internet access, wage increases, more food for children and a dialogue between the government and its opposition. Pretty standard stuff, at least for those of us living under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.</p><p>Their idea was to deliver the list to the Pope via the Church of the Virgin of Charity. But when presented with the document, the parish priest refused to accept it, thus setting off a complicated back and forth between the dissidents and the archbishop’s office. The dissidents, fearing they’d be victims of a government rapid-response mob outside the church, refused to leave until a church official came to talk to them.</p><p>And what did Cardinal Ortega do? He requested that members of the national police force enter the church and forcibly remove the group of 13 men, women and children, sanctuary be damned.</p><p>The Pope came and went from Cuba, salsa dancing with the excommunicated Fidel (in 1962), saying not a word about, nor once acknowledging, never mind meeting with, any of the dissidents.</p><p>And then the Cardinal went to Harvard.</p><p>Ortega said the entire incident, which he described as the “occupation” of the Church of the Virgin of Charity, had been a plot planned by Miami exiles against the government.</p><p>And the dissidents? “They were a group that – this pains me a lot – all of them were former delinquents,” said the Cardinal. “There was a former Cuban prisoner who had been returned to Cuba, he had been in prison for six years and was one of the excludable people who were sent to Cuba […] among them were people without any cultural level, some with psychological disturbances.”</p><p>The Miami <em>Herald</em> broke down the background of group’s members. They are mostly working class people (one survives by fixing lighters), but several have a college education and professional careers, including Calderón.</p><p>The extraordinary thing, to me, in the Cardinal’s declaration, though, is his use of the word “delinquent”: a government favorite to discredit its critics.</p><p>And, of course, the Cardinal’s cruel dismissal of the very people that Jesus would have called us to protect: the voiceless and oppressed, the poor and powerless.</p></p> Fri, 04 May 2012 11:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-05/dissidents-arrest-following-pope%E2%80%99s-cuba-visit-cardinal-neglects-his-flock Pope makes first trip to Spanish-speaking Latin America http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-22/pope-makes-first-trip-spanish-speaking-latin-america-97537 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-March/2012-03-22/AP120320038876.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pope Benedict XVI begins a six day trip to Mexico and Cuba tomorrow. This is the Pope’s first trip to both countries. Officially, the Pope’s trip will coincide with the 400<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the discovery of the statue of the Virgin of Charity. But many church observers believe Benedict’s trip is also an attempt to further position the church as a player within national politics in both countries. <a href="http://iserp.columbia.edu/content/margaret-crahan" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Margaret Crahan</a>, research scholar at the <a href="http://Institute%20of%20Latin%20American%20Studies" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Institute of Latin American Studies</a> at Columbia University, talks with <em>Worldview </em>about what to expect from this papal visit.</p></p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-22/pope-makes-first-trip-spanish-speaking-latin-america-97537 Worldview 3.23.12 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-03-22 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2012-march/2012-03-22/ap120321039766.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/index.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Pope Benedict XVI</a> heads to Cuba and Mexico on Friday. The Pope’s trip coincides with the 400<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the discovery of the statue of the Virgin of Charity. Many church observers believe, however, that the Pope's trip is also an attempt to further the church's political agenda. <em>Worldview</em> previews the papal visit with <a href="http://iserp.columbia.edu/content/margaret-crahan" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Margaret Crahan</a>, a research scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies at <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Columbia University</a>. Also, the <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Chicago Council on Global Affairs</a> turns 90 in 2012. The Council’s president, <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/files/About_Us/Staff_Bios/Marshall_M._Bouton.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Marshall Bouton</a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> about the organization’s history and its plans for the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. And on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank"><em>Global Activism</em></a>, Libertyville teacher Terry Mulligan discusses his upcoming trip to Moshi, Tanzania, where he'll spend two years teaching at a school in the <a href="http://www.mailisita.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Mailisita community</a> near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.</p></p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-03-22