… What? The pope is resigning?! Aside from feeling like a kid whose dad just walked out on them… no, that’s it. That pretty much accurately sums up my initial reaction. A feeling of shock followed by a tremendous sense of loss and abandonment. Then when I tried explaining the news to my son he just said “I thought you couldn’t quit being a Pope. Aren’t things like that, those promises you make, supposed to be forever?” Ah, yes. Vows.
So over dinner we talked about retiring, we talked about growing old and we talked about quitting things. Only quitting things, retiring, and resigning from things sound like actions you do with a job, not a papacy. I don’t think I made a convincing argument with The Boy; largely because I remained unconvinced myself.
What? I take things personally. And this was my Pope. My papa. He was elected the year I was received into the Church so we have a history. And have I mentioned I take personally?
I don’t know. I don’t have anything more to add that isn’t already out there on every other stinking Catholic blog in the big wide internet. I even sympathize with Pope Benedict. He was hoping to retire before he was elected pontiff eight years ago. His health is failing, he can no longer travel.
He’s worked hard and been a faithful shepard to his, at times ungrateful, flock. I also know he didn’t just wake up and decide he’d rather sleep in. The resignation came after much prayer and consideration. I respect and accept his decision. It wouldn’t matter anyway if I didn’t. It just hurts is all. Especially since a part of me recalls the last days in the life of JP II… unable to even speak but still coming to the balcony to bless crowds in St. Peter’s square. If ever a man deserved rest and retirement.
Any way, I didn’t even want to write a post about Il Papa’s resignation but felt obliged to do so. So here it is. Just give me a day or so, OK?
In the meantime, let us all put on a brave face while we endure this for the next month or so…
Stay calm and Catholic on, folks. At least it’s not the end of the world. Or is it?