Precedence for papal resignations

 In the 2,000-year-old history of the Catholic Church, only three other Popes besides Benedict XVI have voluntarily resigned their positions. 

 
The first Pope recognized by the worldwide Church as having resigned by free will is Saint Clement I, who led the early Christian Church in the First Century AD. 
 
 
In 1294, Celestine V was chosen after a conclave that lasted three years. However, just six months into his pontificate he announced his intention to resign because he considered himself unsuitable for the position. Until his election, he had been a hermit. His resignation gave way to the law within the Catholic Church which allows Popes to resign of their own free will.
 
 
The third Pope to announce his intention to leave the Chair of Peter was Gregory XII in 1415. His resignation is seen as a sacrificial gesture to heal the Great Western Schism at the time.
 


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

Filed under politics, religion, religion, vatican, catholic, Global

Comments

Argentina: growing concern over teen suicide

The incidence of suicide among teenagers jumped by a factor of six over 10 years in Argentina, in parallel with teen violence.

South Africa: Catholic bishops denounce modern warfare

Catholic bishops of Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland denounced the conduct of war in Gaza, Iraq, and Syria, while calling on Muslims to eschew persecution of Christians and other minorities.

This page took 0.0938seconds to load