Augusta Catholics pray for pope, Church

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Catholics in Augusta gathered to pray on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s final day as pontiff.

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Bishop J. Kevin Boland, the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Savannah, blesses the Eucharist during a special service at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church to pray for Pope Benedict XVI before his retirement.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Bishop J. Kevin Boland, the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Savannah, blesses the Eucharist during a special service at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church to pray for Pope Benedict XVI before his retirement.

As of 2 p.m. today on the East Coast 8 p.m. in Italy, the Church has no pope.

“We will pray for him and the Church on the eve of this courageous decision,” said Bishop J. Kevin Boland, the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Savannah.

Boland celebrated a Mass on Wednesday night attended by a few hundred local Catholics at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church in Augusta.

Boland, along with the Rev. Jerry Ragan and priests of the Catholic Deanery of Augusta, offered prayers for Benedict’s successor, the unity of the Church, and the health and well-being of their outgoing pope.

Benedict is the first pope to resign since 1415, almost 600 years ago. He cited both age and health as factors in his resignation, announced Feb. 11.

“We were blessed beyond measure with his spiritual leadership,” Boland said.

Benedict leaves behind a significant legacy.

“He’s the only pontiff who has carried out an extensive study of the person of Jesus Christ,” Boland said. “He will be remembered for his endorsement of the Vatican II documents.”

Benedict guided the church with a “delicate firmness” and rallied for better understanding between people of different faiths.

“Pope Benedict truly modeled the Good Shepherd,” Boland said.

The congregation read aloud from a prayer card and memento commemorating Benedict’s papacy:

“God, our Loving Father, we ask Your Blessing on Pope Benedict XVI upon the occasion of his resignation. Thank you for his years of dedicated leadership in which he faithfully administered the mysteries of your forgiveness and love.”

At the close of the special Eucharist, Boland recounted the last time he met Benedict.

It was three years ago, in St. Peter’s Plaza, with a number of other bishops.

When his turn to meet the pontiff came, Boland said, he couldn’t help but tell Benedict that he had mailed his letter of resignation the week before. Boland, who turned 75 in 2010, had reached the mandatory retirement age of bishops.

“He looked at me and said, ‘You, young. You, young,’ ” Boland said with a laugh.

Benedict retires today at age 85.

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Adam Bomb
324
Points
Adam Bomb 02/28/13 - 07:31 am
1
0

The People's Pope.

Although I am not Catholic I will remember Benedict as the Pope who actually answered one of my emails. He actually emailed and conversed with me. Wonderful man, wonderful Pope. May he enjoy his retirement and fishing with his family.

GiantsAllDay
8104
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/28/13 - 11:31 am
0
2

According to catholic

According to catholic doctrine, the Pope is infallible. At 2:00 this afternoon does he become fallible?

thauch12
4363
Points
thauch12 02/28/13 - 02:18 pm
2
0

^wrong

Before perpetuating sensational half-truths and nonsense, learn what you're talking about first, lest you look incredibly ignorant. According to Catholic doctrine, the pope is "infallible" only in matters of "faith or morals" (which only reality, only affect the world's Catholics).

Infallibity in such matters is considered a property of the office, not the man. Besides, seeing as Benedict is no longer the pope, it would not be his place to make overarching comments on such matters in the first place.

GiantsAllDay
8104
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/28/13 - 03:18 pm
0
2

Ok

Since I'm ignorant on such matters, let me just ask confirmation on the news I've read. Is is true that the former pope will live in the Vatican so no other country will be able to extradite him to answer for his accountability in the covering up of the raping of little children?

Adam Bomb
324
Points
Adam Bomb 03/02/13 - 09:38 am
0
0

Good question GiantsAllDay

Can't even Google an answer to that one. Good post.

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