Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pope Francis: Sovereign of Vatican City State no more?

Much ado about a title...

From the Vatican Insider.


A misunderstanding over one of Pope Francis’ titles, published in the 2013 Pontifical Yearbook, caused a media frenzy this morning. [this was a few days ago.] The Bishop of Rome, Francis and the Pope Emeritus, Ratzinger, both appear in the 2013 edition of the yearbook [as in all yearbooks of each diocese where the emeritus in still alive] which was presented in the Vatican this morning. It seemed initially as though Bergoglio had renounced the title of “Sovereign of the Vatican City State”. But a message on the popular Papa Ratzinger Blog read: “later on, however, the Vatican Press Office confirmed he will be keeping the title. It was hard to imagine the Vatican transforming itself from a constitutional monarchy into a Parliamentary Republic.” [run by Masons! come the conspiracy theorists!]

The reference to Rome in the papal title on the front page of the 2013 Papal Yearbook which was presented to the Pope this morning, is new. Part of it reads: “See of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, [Uhm....not See of Peter anymore?   Hmm... semantics.] Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles”. The yearbook attributes the title of pontiff to two individuals: Francis “Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy and Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province” and Benedict XVI “Supreme Pontiff Emeritus”, setting the record straight on an issue that has caused a great deal of dispute over the past three months.  [Uhm... it was settled after his resignation.  I never knew it wasn't settled yet.]

Both names appear on the yearbook’s Diocese of Rome page. After the reference to Pope Francis, the yearbook specifies: “The spiritual leadership of the Diocese of Rome is entrusted to His Eminence Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness’s Vicar General; the Vatican City is entrusted to His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Comastri, pro tempore Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City State. Benedict XVI’s title “Supreme Pontiff Emeritus” is accompanied by a biographical note which ends: “Resigned February 28th, 2013”.

Ratzinger’s name has also been included in the list of Supreme Pontiffs, above John Paul II. His election and resignation dates appear next to his name. A footnote has been added to the latter, specifying that it refers to the date of Ratzinger’s resignation (28/II/2013). Francis’ name appears after Benedict XVI in the list, along with his election date. The Vatican Press Office stressed that Pope Francis is still “Sovereign of the Vatican City State”. The Press Office had initially distributed a photocopy of page 1 of the Pontifical Yearbook, which contained an abbreviated version of the Pope’s title: Bishop of Rome, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop of the Province of Rome. Benedict XVI’s official title (Supreme Pontiff Emeritus) also appears on the same page, hence why the Vatican Press Office sent out a copy of the page.

The deputy editor of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, later showed journalists the page with the complete list of Francis’ papal titles, which is no different to the list of titles given to Benedict XVI in the 2012 edition, when he was still Pope. So Pope Francis’ titles are: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, Servant of the Servants of God and Sovereign of the Vatican City State. The titles given to Francis and Benedict XVI appear on the Pontifical Yearbook’s Diocese of Rome page.


So all this brouhaha about the lost title seemingly all boils down to one thing.

Somebody forgot to type it in!

So, cool down.

He still has his titles.

Pope Francis that is.

And Benedict is Supreme Pontiff Emeritus.

Keep it cool.

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