Tag Archives: papal resignation

Douthat evaluates Benedict’s resignation

Ross Douthat “conservative columnist” of The NY Times writes about Pope Benedict’s resignation yesterday. He pinpoints how in recent years, in many ways very recent years, how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome has changed. And not for the better.

In The Pope Abdicates, he puts his finger on things Benedict tried to minimize: the cult of papal personality, a globe-trotting bishop, a world-powerful CEO, an international voice of reason, etc. The real power of the Pontiff is work of unity among all peoples and teaching and living the truth: Jesus Christ is true for all people because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
There are beautiful and positive lessons to be learned with Benedict’s resignation. God knows what he did when he gave Ratzinger the responsibility of being the Bishop of Rome. The challenges of a global Church worshiping the One, Triune God, preaching salvation, dispensing forgiveness of sins, being an example of love for the other, living according to the Magisterium, and the like, led by an 85 year old are very burdensome today. The humility of Benedict, who in good conscience likely did as much in 7 years as John Paul did in 26 is amazing. But you have to read this work to know this. His homilies and his talks are crucial to know his current thinking and direction. Take for example, Benedict’s 2005 address to the Roman Curia. 
A lesson to study is how focussed are we on God? Is God our true center? Do we believe that Jesus is the center of our Church, or is the real head a man in nice clothes? Sentimental we can’t afford to be: there is something important at stake here: salvation.
Even without the office, Benedict remains a true Father of the Faith.

Should a pope resign his office?

In his book-length interview with Peter Seewald, Light of the World, Pope Benedict responded to Seewald’s question as to whether a pope should resign saying, “Yes. 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.”

And, now Benedict has done it.

The Incredible Freedom of a Man Taken Hold of By Christ, Fr Julián Carrón recalls

Following Benedict XVI’s announcement of his renunciation of the Petrine ministry, Father Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, issued this statement:

With this gesture, as imposing as it is unexpected, the Pope witnesses to us such a fullness in the relationship with Christ that he surprises us with an unprecedented act of freedom that puts the good of the Church before all else. Thus he shows everyone that he is completely entrusted to the mysterious design of an Other.

Who would not want a freedom like this?

The Pope’s gesture is a powerful reminder to renounce every human security, trusting exclusively in the strength of the Holy Spirit. It’s as if Benedict XVI said to us, in St. Paul’s words, ‘I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil 1:6).

Through the Pope’s announcement, the Lord asks us to pierce through all appearances, going back through all of the human enthusiasm with which we greeted Benedict XVI’s election and with which we have followed him in these eight years, grateful for every word of his.

We, too, desire to live the same experience of identification with Christ that dictated this historic act for the life of the Church and of the world to the Pope; and so, it is with freedom and full of wonder that we receive this extreme gesture of paternity, carried out for love of his children, entrusting his person to Our Lady so that he may continue to be our father, giving his life for the work of an Other, that is, for the edification of God’s Church.

With all of our brothers and sisters, together with Benedict XVI, we ask the Spirit of Christ to assist the Church in the choice of a father who can guide her in a historic moment that is so delicate and decisive.

CL Press Office
Milan, February 11, 2013

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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