Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Resignation -- A Candidates Perspective

This weekend, my family and I, are to be presented to the local Bishop at the cathedral. While I'm looking forward to the experience, it's interesting that while our journey is just starting, Pope Benedict has decided to resign in the middle of the Lent season. This raised a great many questions for me as it came as a surprise to many.

While the announcement came as a surprise to many, I'm actually a little bit proud of Pope Benedict. It seems that for far too long, many have sat in the office of Pope far longer than they should have. Not only are they the head of the Catholic Church, but remember also that they are a head of state as well. I like the idea of the Pope serving the Lord as long as they can; as long as they feel the call. However, it takes a special kind of person to put that power and control away when the time comes.

My largest concern is that it's right in the middle of Lent. An odd timing to be sure. I'm actually a little concerned that the Pope's health is actually a lot worse. This would lend credence to the timing. I'm hoping that I'm wrong, but certainly waiting another 60 days would have cleared the entire Easter season and certainly would have made for an easier and less sporadic change.

I'm very enthusiastic that this may be yet another way the Church can turn a corner. Certainly, I'm not asking nor wishing the Church to alter its stance on any number of social issues. On the contrary. That said, I do look forward to seeing if this alters the way that the ruling body of the Catholic Church operates. Could we even possibly see this becoming a trend rather than a near 600 year anomaly? I suppose only time will tell.

Regardless of the larger scheme of things, I'm looking forward to being an "insider" when it comes to election of Pope rather than a interested outsider. I'm really looking forward to the process and pray to God that he sends the Holy Spirit to guide our cardinals as they elect a new Pope.