Monday, February 11, 2013
I wrote briefly this morning about the news that Pope Benedict is resigning/retiring/abdicating. I made a statement in my initial post that needs a little clarification.
I wrote the following this morning: “It was time for Benedict to go and, to his credit, he recognizes that.” I want to make it clear that I was not arguing that Benedict had overstayed his welcome or that I wanted him to leave the papacy.
What I do mean is this — Benedict’s role as a transitional figure had two components, in my mind. First, he needed to consolidate some of the gains the Church made during the crucial and historic papacy of his predecessor, John Paul II. Much of that work involved the internal workings of the Vatican and is necessarily inside baseball. Second, and this is crucial, his steady hand and great faith were crucial for the Church in preparing the way for his successor, who will almost certainly be instrumental in continuing the ministry and initiatives that JPII started. I have a strong sense that what will happen in the coming days and weeks, coinciding with the Lenten season, will be filled with the Holy Spirit. And I sense that the Holy Spirit was instrumental in helping Benedict in his discernment.
The Church needs an energetic Pope, especially now. I suspect we will have one.