A closer look at the 2013 conclave’s papal electors

VATICAN CITY — The group of cardinals preparing to enter a conclave to elect a new pope is slightly older — by four months — than the group that elected 78-year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI, now 85, said his age and diminishing energy prompted him to …

Media coverage shifting focus to College of Cardinals

As His Holiness Benedict XVI fulfilled his resignation intention Feb. 28, ending his eight-year pontificate, the College of Cardinals that will select the pope emeritus’ successor has indicated it will hold a March 4 meeting to schedule a papal conclave. News of Benedict XVI’s departure has gripped the world and …

In farewell to cardinals, Pope Benedict pledges obedience to next pope

  VATICAN CITY — The Clementine Hall is traditionally the place where cardinals bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually when the pope in question is lying in state before his funeral. But on Feb. 28, hours before resigning from the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI …

Diocesan faithful give Cardinal Rigali a memorable send-off

In a turnout befitting a pope—or a cardinal—more than a thousand well-wishers were on hand Feb. 26 at All Saints Church and McGhee Tyson Airport to see Cardinal Justin Rigali as he departed for Rome, where he will join the College of Cardinals in a conclave to elect the next …

A world of thanks to Pope Benedict as pontificate ends

Cardinal Justin Rigali is one of 117 College of Cardinals electors assembling for Vatican conclave to choose next pontiff The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11 shocked Catholics around the world, including those in the Diocese of Knoxville, which is home to papal elector Cardinal Justin Rigali. Pope …

Church affairs continue even without a pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—When Pope Benedict XVI officially left office at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, most of the top-level Vatican officials lost their jobs, but that does not mean the majority of Vatican employees get a vacation. Although Catholics inside and outside the Vatican love to complain about its unwieldy bureaucracy, …

Diocese of Knoxville plays role in papal succession

Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement Monday that he will resign effective Feb. 28 took the world by surprise, prompting Diocese of Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika and Cardinal Justin Rigali, who is in residence in the diocese, to meet with East Tennessee media representatives and brief them on the pontiff’s decision. …

Pope announces resignation, citing health reasons

VATICAN CITY —Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month after an eight-year pontificate. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the …

World all a-Twitter as Pope joins social media

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI launched his very own Twitter account Dec. 12, sending a short inaugural message to more than 1 million followers. “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you …

Pope: faith, science must cooperate to protect people, planet

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Dialogue and cooperation between faith and science are urgently needed for building a culture that respects people and the planet, Pope Benedict XVI told his own science academy. Without faith and science informing each other, “the great questions of humanity leave the domain of reason and …