Monday, 11 February 2013
The Holy Father Abdicates!
The news that Pope Benedict XVI is to abdicate in just over a fortnight has left me feeling rather numb and somewhat bereft.
It is understandable that the Holy Father finds it a dreadful strain, especially at his advanced age, and obviously this is something he will have prayed about and reflected upon for some time. He will, one day, be held to account for his stewardship of the Church - a truly unenviable position. And it seems that he deems it best to hand over that stewardship swiftly, rather than allow a prolonged period of increasing ill-health and fevered speculation about his successor.
It is still a shock...
It seems that it was a shock even to those closest to him. The Holy Father will be the first Pope in 600 years to renounce the Papacy.
Nevertheless, the Church does not have "policies" or "programmes" which change with the shifting winds of popular opinion. She teaches Truths which endure for eternity. So the Press can save its breath and stop speculating on whether the new Pope will "allow" female ordination, gay "marriage," contraception, and such like. He won't.
Christ promised that he would be with his Bride, the Church, to the end of the ages, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against her. We need to demonstrate our trust in that promise.
And we should pray for our great Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI... and pray for his successor.