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Vol. XVII, No. 3 12 February 2013
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
TO THE WHOLE SOCIETY
Dear brothers in Christ,
Yesterday, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, announced his decision to resign from his "ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter." We receive this announcement of the Holy Father with respect and admiration for his spiritual freedom, his humility, and his deep love for the Church.
We recall the consoling experience of encounter with him during GC 35 five years ago, when the Holy Father expressed his confidence in and closeness to the Society of Jesus, and challenged us to "reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find it difficult to reach." (Allocution of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the 35th General Congregation) We are profoundly grateful for the trust and inspiration Pope Benedict has given us through the years of his pontificate. In the spirit of the fourth vow that unites the Society in a special way to the Roman Pontiff, let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI, and let us recommit ourselves to the mission which he has entrusted to the Society.
Finally, with the whole Church, let us pray in a special way for the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, as a new Successor of Peter is sought and elected. We continue to trust that the risen Lord is faithful to his promise to be with his Church always.
Fraternally yours in the Lord,
Adolfo Nicolás, S.I.
Rome, 12 February 2013