My first reaction to the news of the pope’s resignation.
A couple of other reactions in quick succession:
1) We won’t get the third encyclical in Benedict’s Faith Hope and Love trilogy.
2) Why didn’t he wait until the end of the Year of Faith?
3) Is it something more than just tiredness? Has he received a diagnosis of a more threatening nature?
4) What now? Will he keep writing books in the monastery?
5) Will there be a valedictory service?
6) What do we call him after Feb 24th?
7) Will they let him have a cat now?
I love Pappa Benny. I pray for the Church, for the Holy Father, and for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the selection of his successor. I trust that God will continue to keep the promise to Jesus made to us, that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church built upon the Rock of Peter.
PS. Just read that the pope had been told by his doctor “no more transatlantic trips” – was the resignation timed so that there would be a pope at World Youth Day?
PPS. This act should finally put paid to the old liberal charge that Pope Benedict is “conservative”. It’s funny, because John XXIII is often remembered for being a “liberal” when in fact he was very orthodox – he did one surprising and historic act in calling the Second Vatican Council. Benedict, often thought to be a “conservative”, has at times done quite radical things (praying in the mosque in Turkey and Summorum Pontificum for eg!). This is just the latest of his radical innovations!