|from Catholic meme's on Facebook|
"I don't know," he replied honestly. "A man is pope from the time he is elected until he dies. It has never been an issue before."
This morning, I hopped on the computer before my shower and let out a loud gasp. "Adam! You will never guess what happened! Oh, my GOSH!"
"The pope resigned," he said in a matter of fact voice. I looked him in shock, since I knew he hadn't turned on the TV or been on the computer before his shower. He shrugged. "I had a weird dream about it last night."*
We're going to ignore how creepy that statement is for a moment.
I first learned about the Pope's resignation as my friend's Facebook status. At first, I thought it was a joke. I mean, the Pope doesn't abdicate! It's not done! Has it ever been done? But this friend is Catholic and she's not known for posting items that she hasn't double checked to be true. Plus, the link was from NCR, a reputable Catholic website.
Holy smokes! The Pope is abdicating!
Adam, ever logical, said that it makes sense. He's old, he reminded me, and he probably wants someone in good health to be a lively, active Pope for the people. This didn't fly with me, and I informed him that one doesn't just ditch the leadership of the Catholic Church! Once you are pope, that's it and you hang in there until you die, period, end of discussion. I flounched off to my shower feeling angry, annoyed and forsaken.
And really, really grumpy about it. I don't like surprises and I don't like change. This is a huge surprise and a HUGE change!
After posting around on my forums and Facebook and being grouchy about this, I sat down and read an Easter book to the little boys. The last line said, "And Jesus loved us so much He gave His life for us."
When the boys were done with play-dough, I surfed around on the Internet some more. Most reactions were less grouchy than mine. Many people pointed out that there has to be a good reason for this and perhaps Pope Benedict can see a but into the future and realizes that this very hard choice he has to make will be, in the long run, better for the Church than him staying pope. Someone pointed out that Blessed Pope John Paul II taught us about the grace and beauty that can come with suffering; Pope Benedict is teaching us about humility. It takes a great and humble man to say, "You know, I just can't do it anymore. We need someone who can."
In other words, he loves the people he guides and the Church so much, that he is willing to step aside and give us what he knows the people need.
I understand it but I still don't like it.
Liking something and understanding something don't have to co-exist. I like chips and candy but I understand fruits and veggies are more important for me. Sure, I like fruits and veggies and find them yummy but, honestly, what I wouldn't do to eat more treats! Likewise, I understand that Pope Benedict's actions might be for the good of all of us, but what I wouldn't do to keep him our pope!
Time will tell why this is happening. For now, I ask that everyone please keep this man in your prayers and thoughts. He is, after all, just a human like the rest of us who is doing something very difficult in the public eye. Please pray for the church leaders, as they gather to elect the new pope and for the new pope, because he will be in a unique and slightly awkward position- being the new pope with the old pope still living!
For information on "what happens next" and the conclave, please check reputable Catholic news media sources, such as EWTN, NCR and Patheos.
Benedict Announces Retirement (fantastic links in the article)
The Unprecedented Resignation of Benedict
*If m grandmother had called and said she knew the pope would resign, I wouldn't b surprised. The woman knows things. But my husband? My super practical husband? He's beginning to worry me.