Charity registration No. SC002876   Sunday February 17th. 2013 Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu Pope Benedict, a brilliant theologian and humble pastor,  knew that he was becoming less able to discharge the functions of the office in the way the Church required, and so he felt he had to make way for someone else who could—a brave decision that was a shock the Church and the whole world!     When he was chosen to succeed Pope John Paul, whom he had assisted for 24 years, specially in the latter years when he was so badly afflicted by Parkinson's, he was fully aware of the  the Pope’s declining health and how it affected the Church. This must have influenced  him considerably  when he made his brave decision last Monday regarding his own obvious failing health. Three years before he was elected Pope, he suffered a mild stroke, and with his age and pressure of office of the past seven years, there was always the danger that this would reoccur. When he was in Mexico and Cuba last year, he had a bad fall during the night, causing injury to his head.      We will always recall  his visit to Britain — his meeting the Queen at Holyrood Castle, the drive down Princess Street where he was greeted by 250,000 people, with pipe bands and brass bands leading the way, then the Papal mass at Bellahouston, and  his wonderful address to a thousand MPs and VIPs in the great Westminster Hall, where St. Thomas More was condemned to death because of his loyalty to the Pope, which will always be remembered for its warmth and his earnest appeal for honest dialogue between science and religion. The critics forecast his visit to be a failure, but it turned out be an immense triumph because of his humility and holiness. Pope Benedict shortly after his election “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise. 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 St. 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 recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me. For this, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom, I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.” A humble Pope looks to the good of the Church as he resigns his Petrine Office. A tired-looking Benedict XV1 at the Ash Wednesday Mass in  St. Peter’s  Basilica.