November 28, 2014 22:43 UTC

In the News

Pope Benedict Says Goodbye

The Pope left the Vatican for Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Benedict Steps Down
Pope Benedict Steps Down

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Pope Benedict Says Goodbye as Leader of the Worldwide Roman Catholic Church

From VOA Learning English, this is In The News in Special English.
 
Pope Benedict gave his last public blessing this week to tens of thousands of people in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the church’s administrative center. The resignation of the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church took effect Thursday.
 
On Wednesday, the 85-year-old leader took one final ride through the square in his open vehicle. He stopped at times to bless a baby. Later he told the crowd that he has been through some moments that were “not easy.” The pope said, “To love the Church also means having the courage to take difficult decisions.” Some observers said the comment was a reply to his surprising decision to resign.
 
Benedict recognized that his decision was not expected. He told Catholic believers that he made the move with what he called “profound serenity of spirit.” The most recent papal resignation was  almost 600 years ago, when Pope Gregory the Twelfth stepped down.
 
Father Thomas Rosica, the director of a Catholic television network in Canada, was among those listening to Benedict’s final address. Father Rosica says the pope’s decision to resign is a way of teaching Catholics about surrender.
 
“Pope John Paul II taught us the profound lesson of his papacy, especially in the final years, about suffering and dying. Pope Benedict has taught us another lesson. He's taught us about surrender. We don't cling to power and authority and office and privilege, when our energies are no longer there.”
Benedict said the Church had troubles and “stormy waters” during his eight-year leadership. But, he said God will not let the institution sink. He urged all Catholics to always put the good of the Catholic Church before their own personal desires.
 
The pope has had to answer accusations of corruption and sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members. He has dealt with the leak of thousands of private documents that reportedly show dishonor in the church. And, there has been a decrease in the Catholic faith within Europe.
 
Before leaving on Thursday, Benedict said goodbye in private to Roman Catholic  cardinals. He urged these high-level officials to unite as they prepare to choose the next pope among their number.
 
Pope Benedict will now be called “pope emeritus” and continue to wear the white clothing he wore while serving as pope. Many people have criticized the decision to let him stay in the Vatican. They say his presence could create tension with the new ruling pope. Pope Benedict has said he plans to live quietly in prayer and meditation in his words, “hidden to the world.”  He also promised to show “unconditional reverence and obedience” to the next pope.
 
The Pope left the Vatican Thursday by helicopter and arrived at his new temporary home, Castel Gandolfo, south of the Vatican. He will return to the Vatican and live in what is called a convent in a few months.
 
In a final message on his official Twitter account, the leader of the world’s more than one billion Catholics thanked his followers for their “love and support.”  He also wrote, “May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives.”




This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Ferguson Protest

    Video After Protests, Ferguson Looks for Answers

    On Monday, protesters burned buildings and police cars and destroyed businesses in the Midwestern U.S. city of Ferguson, Missouri. Their actions followed the announcement that a grand jury had decided not to send a white police officer to trial for shooting and killing an unarmed black teen. More

  • Video US Evangelicals Debate Homosexuality in the Bible

    An increasing number of mainline Christian groups are also accepting same-sex unions. But most evangelical Christians say the Bible condemns sexual relations among people of the same sex. Now, a well-known student of evangelicalism is saying that the traditional reading of the Bible is wrong. More

  • An oil derrick is seen at a fracking site for extracting oil outside of Williston, North Dakota March 11, 2013.  North Dakota's booming oil business has quickly ran up against a serious shortage of housing for the thousands of workers who have poured into

    Audio Falling Oil Prices Affect Nations Differently

    Oil prices have dropped 30 percent since June. Increased American oil production is one reason for the drop in world oil prices. Nigeria has announced measures the government would take to increase income. But, in India the lower oil prices have helped ease inflation. More

  • Audio North Korea Warns of Punishment for US, Allies

    North Korea said it would punish countries that supported a UN resolution condemning North Korea's human rights record. The recent U.N. committee vote called on the Security Council to send North Korea to the International Criminal Court for suspected violations, including torture and murder. More

  • A Libyan military soldier fires his weapon during clashes with Islamic extremist militias in Benghazi, Libya, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Government troops entered central Benghazi Wednesday after nearly 10 days of fighting Islamic extremist militias, a mili

    Audio Unrest, Abuse Prevent Solution in Libya

    Amnesty International is condemning all sides in Libya for human rights abuses and violations of international law. The rights group is calling on militia commanders to end the abuses. But that call is unlikely to have much of an effect on the commanders, who have never been punished. More

Featured Stories

  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay

    Video 'Hunger Games' Expected to Top Holiday Ticket Sales

    'Mockingjay - Part 1' is the third in the four part movie series. It earned about $123 million in its opening weekend. Not bad, but millions less than tickets sales in the release weekend of the first two 'Hunger Games' films. What explains the drop in audience interest? More

  • Battle of Cold Harbor

    Audio Strong Defense at Cold Harbor Gives Lee His Last Major Victory

    After Northern forces defeated Southern troops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi, General Ulysses Grant decided to hit the Confederates with the full force of the Union armies. The fight did not go as he expected. But General Grant was resolved to defeat the Confederates. More

  • Alzheimer brain

    Audio East Meets West to Treat Alzheimer's Patients

    But researchers in California say a new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease is showing promise for reversing some of that memory loss. The new treatment combines western medicine with eastern philosophy – ideas rooted in Asian religions. More

  • Mr. Van Rijsselberghe worked on the project with scientists from the Free University of Amsterdam.

    Video Dutch Experiment Grows Vegetables in Sea Water

    Due to rising sea level, farmers are increasingly unable to use fields close to the sea. A farmer in the Netherlands is growing small, but healthy and tasty crops in a mixture of fresh and salt water. Farmers in Pakistan may soon be growing Dutch potatoes in areas affected by rising sea waters. More

  • Jonathan Evans Performs with Bonerama

    Video With Bonerama, Three Trombones Lead the Big Parade

    The New Orleans-based group brings together funk, rock, blues and jazz, creating a gumbo for the ears. Bonerama has horns like many bands. But, unlike most groups, the trombone players lead this band. Reporter Jonathan Evans performed with the band and wrote about it for American Mosaic. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs