Benedict the Builder Pope Resigns His Office. His Work Will Continue in a Restored Church and a New Missionary Age
overcome with joy, gratitude and profound hope for the future when I heard the news while I was visiting with a priest friend in Richmond, Virginia. We were immersed in an intense conversation when another friend, then still a Bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, called me on my cell phone to tell me the news. "Have you heard?" he asked, "Habemus Papem, We have a Pope!" he proclaimed, hardly able to contain his own joy. My priest friend and I immediately turned the television on and, with the entire world, witnessed history.
One day later, I realized how significant it was that a Christian from another community told me, a Catholic Deacon, the "we" had a Pope. I believed it was a seed and sign of the movement of the Holy Spirit toward the coming full communion of the whole Christian Church. Now today, while I was still engaged in my morning prayer, that same man informed me of this news of a papal resignation! However, he is a fruit of the ministry of Benedict the Builder Pope. Shortly after the announcement in 2005, my friend resigned his ministry and began the process which led him into full communion with the Catholic Church. He had no assurance of any ordained ministry; he was just drawn by the splendor of truth which is the ancient but ever new Catholic faith and could not resist its pull.
"How very fitting" I thought to myself this morning "that Fr Randy Sly would inform me of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI". He did so while he was on his way to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Fr Randy Sly was one of the first to be ordained to the holy priesthood for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter and now serves as a Catholic priest. As I write, he stands at the altar as fruit of the extraordinary pontificate of Benedict the Builder Pope!
I believed from the beginning of his papacy that Benedict XVI would be a builder. He is one of the most brilliant, insightful and fecund theologians of the age. He knew the need for a New Evangelization and he understood the challenges that the Church faced as she walked forward to the Third Christian Millennium. He was present at and participated in the Second Vatican Council. He understands the authentic teaching of that Council and has led the way in its proper implementation in many areas of life, both within the Church and in her mission to the modern world.
He also understands the way that the Council was hijacked in some circles, disregarded in others and absolutely misinterpreted in still others. He has been a voice for dynamic orthodox and faithful Catholic Christian faith, practice, worship and life. In his homily prior to the convening of the conclave where he was chosen to fill the Chair of Peter, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger gave a prophetic insight: "How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking... The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth.
"Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. "Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and "swept along by every wind of teaching," looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires."
Some attempted to misuse this insight to paint him as rejecting the modern world. That was nonsense. What he rejects is the emptiness of modernity and what he aptly referred to as the dictatorship of relativism. What he proposes is a different path, not to the past, but to a future of hope and authentic freedom. It is the reassertion of saving and liberating truth that paves that path to authentic human flourishing and freedom. It is to be found in Jesus Christ who proclaimed that He is the "Way, the Truth and the Life." Jesus reminds every person in every age, that we can "know the truth" and that "the truth will set you free." Benedict has been his mouthpiece and Vicar.
His choice of the name Benedict was a sign of his pontificate. One of the young priests who commented on his election noted that then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger visited Subiaco before all the events in Rome began. He prayed and rededicated himself to the work of the Church for the future. Benedict the great monk helped to rebuild the Church of his age and spread the influence of Christendom. Pope Benedict XVI has laid the seeds for a similar work in the Third ...
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Pope Benedict XVI, resignation, Papal resignation, Vatican Church history, papal, New Pope, Vicar of Christ, successor of Peter, Joseph Ratzinger, Deacon Keith Fournier
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- Pope Francis: Open the Door to Faith and Do Not Try to Control
- Evil Face of Jihad in London Suburb: Muslim Attackers Hack a Young Soldier to Death and Behead Him
- 'World's oldest profession' suffers downturn in U.K.; food, mortgage more important than sex
- Businesses, not employees to foot 75 percent tax increase in France
- Undeterred by terrorists, mother and daughter comfort dying British soldier in London
- Flight diverted above United Kingdom after two passengers make bomb threats
- Priest Tells of Being Whipped by the Devil in the Land of Missions
- Pope Francis Calls Italian Bishops to a Renewed Pastoral Vision
- British soldier hacked to death in brazen attack by Islamic terrorists, stopped by prayerful, courageous women
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?