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...In today'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 bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.Update: Cartoon Predicted Resignation
An editor of The Anomalist [Twitter @anomalistnews] has shared that Imgur is pointing out that a German calendar predicted the resignation down to the exact day. See below.
"Heiliger Strohsocki! Morgen kündige ich!" translates as "Holy smokes! Tomorrow I'll quit!" on the calendar dated Februar 10 Sonntag ("Sunday"). Note that the number "23" denotes "breaking apart" and "28" is the date in February when Benedict XVI's retirement becomes official.
Update: Sign from the Heavens?
After the resignation, what happened?
Some have noted that the conservative Pope Benedict XVI has not handled the priest sex abuse crisis extremely well.
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a powerful 2012 documentary film, directed by Alex Gibney. It is airing on HBO in 2013, including, by "coincidence," on February 11, 2013, the day Benedict XVI's resignation was announced. As the documentary notes, on November 25, 1981, Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the "Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office," the historical Roman Inquisition. As the Holy Inquistor, the future Benedict XVI had all priest sexual abuse cases come through his office. As the Pope, he backed away from making fundamental changes to the structure of how the Papacy handled the scandal. As the Gibney documents, Benedict XVI may have been stopped for doing more for the victims, instead of protecting the establishment, by those surrounding him.
Next: Petrus Romanus
So what now? Did St. Malachy indicate the future of the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church?
Peter Romanus, in the prophecies, is viewed as the last Pope. Pope Peter (II?) of Rome? Or a Cardinal named Peter?
The Future: The Church Shall Change
In the persecution of the Holy Roman Church,
There will reign Peter the Roman,
Who will feed his flock among many tribulations
After which the seven hilled city will be destroyed
And the dreadful Judge will judge the people.
The phrase "the seven hilled city" is a direct reference to Rome. "The Seven Hills of Rome (Italian: Sette colli di Roma) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city. The original city was held by tradition to have been founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill." Source.