While the main focus of this new blog has been surrounding the fact that I'm a newlywed, I cannot deny that I am a Catholic newlywed...which naturally means my faith will shape and impact the conversations I have with my husband, how we live out our marital vows, etc. In turn, this of course means my Catholic faith will also impact several of the topics I blog about. So here goes! This entry is not so much about me being a newlywed but is focused more on some major current events that not only are my husband and I talking about, but the entire world is talking about.
By now I think most of us are aware that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of this month. I can fully understand the shock many are experiencing over this decision they feel came "out of nowhere," but let's get real here.
The Pope's decision most certainly did not "come out of nowhere." How do we know this? Not only do I trust that he has prayed on this very decision for hours on end and discerned whether or not it was right and what the appropriate time to take action would be, but we also have evidence of his thoughtfulness on this topic. Here's an excerpt from Edward Pentin's article found at the National Catholic Register today:
"Moreover, as a man known for his humility and well aware of his strengths and weaknesses, he made it clear that he would consider resigning if the time were right. In his 2010 interview for the book Light of the World, Pope Benedict was asked if he would resign in view of the sexual abuse scandal.
“When the danger is great one must not run away,” he said. “For that reason, now is certainly not the time to resign. Precisely at a time like this one must stand fast and endure the difficult situation. That is my view.”
But he added, “One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on. But one must not run away from danger and say that someone else should do it.”
Asked if he could imagine a situation in which he would consider a resignation by the Pope appropriate, he said he could, and that “if a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign."
That time appears to have come."
Was Pope Benedict XVI a fantastic, intelligent, well-educated, beloved, holy Pope? I fully believe so and respect him greatly. But let us recognize the reality is that he is continuing to be all of these things by acknowledging his own weaknesses and limitations that go hand in hand with his old age. He loves the Catholic Church and would never selfishly or blindly maintain an office he knows he can no longer serve with the abilities necessary and demanded of a Pope in the world today. He wants us to have the most capable leader whether that man is himself or not. This only makes me respect him and love him as a leader even further.
Many people also seem to have forgotten that when Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005 it was widely known (due to his advanced age) that he was considered a "transition Pope." Everyone was well aware at the time of his election that he would certainly not have the same lengthy rule as his predecessor, Blessed Pope John Paul II. Such a long service as Pope would be nearly impossible considering he was nearly already at the age that would have excluded him from being considered when he was elected.
So let us be kind in our assessments of this man who truly has the best intentions for the Catholic Church and pray for him as the media scrutinizes, speculates, and plays up every possible angle that they think could make this holy man and our Church look "bad" in the eyes of the secular world.
I leave you with this beautiful video which reminds us that as Catholics we don't place all our hope in the Pope, but in Jesus Christ himself and He is the one who will be ruling this Church regardless of the man elected to follow in St. Peter's footsteps...although what a great man Pope Benedict XVI was and continues to be.
"For some people may be so shaken that it may change their perception, but my hope and prayer is it will help many to get more mature in our faith. Our faith is not on the Pope, it is on Christ, who is the foundation of the church. Christ is the same yesterday, today, and the same forever. We all are servants. We come and go. Christ doesn't come and go, he stays on. Without Christ the church has no more meaning, but the Pope is a servant and one of his titles is 'Servant of the Servants of God.' He is not there for himself or self-glory, so his act yesterday was like saying 'I am a servant. I think another servant should come on.' Very good for the church and very noble of him. So this event can help us to be deeper in our faith.... Pope Benedict may be teaching us many more things than we realize."