The Pope resigns. I think I’ll have a temper tantrum instead…

… 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?

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Suburbanbanshee

    He’s pursuing a really really late monkish vocation, which is a traditional way to prepare for death.

  • Mr. WAC

    The papacy is an office, not an ontological mark like ordination, and certainly not a suicide compact with the Church. It is a calling – a man is called by God to the papacy, but not necessarily for the rest of his life. Since only the Pope can legitimately depose himself (no other power, not even an ecumenical council, can depose a pope) his resignation is one of the highest and most solemn acts of his office.

    The Scholastics debated as a theological matter whether or not a pope could quit. The decided he could, as reflected by current canon law. One of the arguments in favor comes from necessity: God made the Church, and God made the papacy to serve the Church. Therefore, God would not force a man to carry on in the papacy to the detriment of the Church.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      I get it. It makes sense. It’s for the best. But it still sucks.

      • Mr. WAC

        I agree. I want him to live forever and be pope forever.

  • C. LaSalle

    My first thought was my sense of abondenment, then I realized that what the Pope is doing is for the better of the whole Church so that makes it okay.

  • Alex Cooper

    A Meditation from Blessed John Cardinal Newman

    1. O MY Saviour, I adore Thee for Thy infinite wisdom, which sees what we do not see, and orderest all things in its own most perfect way. When Thou didst say to the Apostles that Thou wast going away, they cried out, as if Thou hadst, if it may be so said, broken faith with them. They seemed to say to Thee, “O Jesu, did we not leave all things for Thee? Did we not give up home and family, father and wife, friends and neighbours, our habits, our accustomed way of living, that we might join Thee? {385} Did we not divorce ourselves from the world, or rather die to it, that we might be eternally united and live to Thee? And now Thou sayest that Thou art leaving us. Is this reasonable? is this just? is this faithfulness to Thy promise? Did we bargain for this? O Lord Jesus, we adore Thee, but we are confounded, and we know not what to say!”

    2. Yet let God be true, and every man a liar. Let the Divine Word triumph in our minds over every argument and persuasion of sensible appearances. Let faith rule us and not sight. Thou art justified, O Lord, when Thou art arraigned, and dost gain the cause when Thou art judged. For Thou didst know that the true way of possessing Thee was to lose Thee. Thou didst know that what man stands most of all in need of, and in the first place, is not an outward guide, though that he needs too, but an inward, intimate, invisible aid. Thou didst intend to heal him thoroughly, not slightly; not merely to reform the surface, but to remove and destroy the heart and root of all his ills. Thou then didst purpose to visit his soul, and Thou didst depart in body, that Thou mightest come again to him in spirit. Thou didst not stay with Thy Apostles therefore, as in the days of Thy flesh, but Thou didst come to them and abide with them for ever, with a much more immediate and true communion in the power of the Paraclete.

    3. O my God, in Thy sight, I confess and bewail my extreme weakness, in distrusting, if not Thee, at least Thy own servants and representatives, when things do not turn out as I would have them, or expected! {386} Thou hast given me St. Philip, that great creation of Thy grace, for my master and patron—and I have committed myself to him—and he has done very great things for me, and has in many ways fulfilled towards me all that I can fairly reckon he had promised. But, because in some things he has disappointed me, and delayed, I have got impatient; and have served him, though without conscious disloyalty, yet with peevishness and coldness. O my dear Lord, give me a generous faith in Thee and in Thy servants!

  • FuquaySteve

    I am not anxious, the Church will remain the one true Church. We’ve had terrific popes and some less so and the Truth marches on. The media is the only ones who like to become unhinged about the situation, as the Church and our Sacred Traditions are beyond their capacity to control. Therefore all they do is criticize. No worries here for nothing shall prevail over the Church. Boy that peeves the media.

  • nitnot

    Well, take comfort from this … he isn’t just quitting to tend his flowers and play Sudoku. He’s going to a monastery … the hardest kind of life there is … and you just know he’s gonna turn on his prayer turbo-boosters for us and for the whole world … God bless him, I sure don’t wish I was him …