Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Pope Benedict CAN/SHOULD/MUST and WILL NOT 'resign'

The correct word is abdication, not resignation. Popes believe, and the Catholic world believes, or should believe, that they have been placed there by God as Vicars of His Son on earth, that they have been divinely chosen as the Successors of Peter. They do not 'resign', regardless of the New York or London Times.

We know that the Venerable John Paul II considered abdication, but that was understandable, because towards the end of his long pontificate, he must have wondered what good he could possbily do, or be doing, by remaining. As it transpired, he kept going to the end. Somewhere along the line he must have realised the lesson he would have to teach with his long drawn-out decline and death. He who had been a powerful athlete all his life, to be reduced to that before the public gaze. Day by day we saw that strong body disintegrating before our eyes. And the reality of it had to be faced. It was indeed terrible, but comforting to be shown how to die, and glorious to see that the spirit is not extinguished in the process. That is our faith.

And Benedict, who was not far from physical frailty when elected, and yet I believe is the strongest Pope to reign in my lifetime (that is of six Pontiffs)? I am told, and can see, why people say that there are those in the Church who want him dead. All I can say, is that whilst he is still with us, we have a chance. In any case he will not abdicate. If he did, the Church would be thrown into utter mayhem. Like John Paul II he will go on unto the end. That is what good Popes do. To know it, you have only to read Benedict's homily from Monday night. There, you will see what he will do and how he will react and behave. He will follow the example of his predecessor, whatever that will demand of him.

I knew that Benedict was thinking only of John Paul II when he said the following words last night, but I could not but think of him, our dear and living Holy Father as well.

"The Lord called him to His service and, entrusted him with tasks of ever greater responsibility, accompanied him with His grace and His continual assistance. .....he made prodigious efforts to proclaim the right firmly, without weakenss or hesitation, especially when he had to face resistance, hostility and rejection. He knew the Lord had taken him by the hand, and this enabled him to exercise a fruitful ministry for which, once again we give fervent thanks to God."

No more posts until Easter, but everyday I'll be in Church with the Blessed Sacrament praying for you all and for our beloved Pope.
God bless all here.