Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The lightning touched the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic churches, hours after Benedict XVI's shock announcement

CTNN
February 11, 2013



A sign from God? Lighting strikes the basilica of St.Peter's dome earlier this evening during a storm that struck Rome on the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation


This was the moment lightning struck the Vatican today - hours after Pope Benedict XVI's bolt-from-the-blue resignation.
The lightning touched the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic churches, after the Pope's shock admission he lacks strength to do the job.
The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision to quit -  the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.
The move surprised even his closest aides, even though Benedict, 85, had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm.
In recent years, however, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences.
He now goes to and from the altar in St Peter's Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.
His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
"His age is weighing on him," Mr Ratzinger said. "At this age my brother wants more rest."
Benedict announced his resignation in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, calling it "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
He emphasised that carrying out the duties of being pope requires "both strength of mind and body."
He told the cardinals: "I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

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