Thirty-five years ago on 26 August 1978, Cardinal Albino Luciani, Patriarch of Venice was elected Pope after the death of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The conclave of 101 cardinals lasted two days and he was elected on the fourth ballot. Luciani took the name of John Paul I – the first pope to have two names. He wanted to continue the work of Pope Paul VI and Pope John XXIII.
With temperatures high up in the thermometer, August in Rome can be very unpleasant. And 35 years ago, cardinals had to endure one of the most intense summers the Church has gone through in recent memory. They had not one, but two conclaves, about a month apart. The first elected John Paul I, while the second chose John Paul II. Casa Santa Marta did not yet exist, and so the cardinals experience some unique struggles.
Here's a look at a dramatic change in the Catholic Church, beginning with Pope Benedict XVI's stunning resignation announcement and the twists and turns that resulted in the election of Pope Francis, whose personality has already shaped the office of the papacy.
Accusations that Pope Francis denounced two priests to Argentina's military junta during the 1970s have been denied by one of the survivors. Francisco Jalics issued an online statement on Wednesday to clear up what he said were misinterpretations of his earlier comments about the role played by the pope.
Critics of Pope Francis have already started to drag up an association between the Holy Father and Argentina's "Dirty War", claiming that the then Fr. Bergoglio did nothing to stop the violence of the Junta, including the imprisonment of two Jesuit priests.
It all happens here in the Sistine Chapel. Surrounded by the priceless art of Michelangelo, cardinals come together to elect a Pope. But it wasn't always like this. Centuries ago, the voting process was quite different. In fact, it was a different group all together, that elected the Pope.
In the midst of the activities surrounding the Papal resignation and speculation on the next choice for the Chair of St Peter, a very important anniversary has gone virtually unnoticed. In February 313 AD, in the reign of Pope St. Melchiades, the Edict of Milan was promulgated by the Emperor Constantine, a measure that granted Christians the freedom to worship openly, preach the gospel and build churches.
An expert in medieval history spoke to Catholic News Service about the pope who set the precedent for papal resignation.
Pope Benedict XVI said that many of the misninterpretations of the Second Vatican Council were caused by the media promoting its own version. “The world interpreted the council through the eyes of the media instead of seeing the true council of the fathers and their key vision of faith,” said Pope Benedict at Paul VI Hall Feb. 14. Visit this article from CNA to read more.
In the 2,000-year-old history of the Church, only three other Popes besides Benedict XVI have voluntarily resigned their positions: Saint Clement I in the First Century, Celestine V in 1294, and Gregory XII in 1415. Watch this video to learn more!
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