12 February 2013

And now, the knives.

I have spent my spare time for the last 24 hours searching the web for some more information, or some insight, into the papal resignation.  I have found neither.

I have found heartfelt Good-byes and Thank yous, and angry Good Riddances.  I have seen much hurt and shock, as people wonder How Can This Happen? and wonder What Will Happen Next: as in:Will The Next Pope Do What I Want?  Some go over his papacy, and draw out the successes and downplay the failures, others downplay the successes and draw out the failures, and judge his papacy on where the stress has fallen.  Others are looking to the papabile and wonder who will reign next- a project which makes me smile.  In the conclaves I have seen in my lifetime, every pope has come as a blindside to the world, and against all prognostications. 

But of them all, the ones I find the most peculiar are the "What Is Really Happening Here?"  Pope Benedict, an old man who has trouble moving around, could not possibly have been serious when he said that he was an old man who has trouble moving around, and therefore must have had an ulterior motive.  Often the same people who condemned John Paul II for staying on into his decrepitude are now condemning Benedict for not staying on into his.  The resignation is unthinkable.  There must be some other Really Real Reason for this.  And the speculations begin, and we find ourselves in Catholic Conspiracy Season again. 

My friends, we are all shaken by this.  The Pope was a figure of certainty, a fixed point in the chaos of our times.  He has left us feeling as though we have been cast adrift.  Remember your faith, and rise above your fears.  We are still in the Church created by Christ Himself, and we are promised it will not fail.  We are to pray for this day's bread, and to resist this day's temptation.  Do not feel troubled over what we cannot control or even influence, and attend the work at hand, and pray for the one who is to come, and those who are to discern his name.  Look to the future with the tranquil courage of those who came before, knowing that what comes, whether for good or for ill, is still for the best.


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

My Tesoro: But but, we're catholic it's been this way since the disciples got together and waited for the apostles to choose a replacement for Judas and when they did God blindsided them and choose Paul. It is a tradition that goes back 2 millenia,

Patience said...

Re Pope Benedict 16: You just can't win; either you stay on and get increasingly decrepit and failing or you sensibly resign and let someone else carry on. But either way you'll be criticized. The worst part for me is all the people using this as a forum for all the anti Catholic venom (angry and bitter much??)
Unbelievably; some people are hoping for another John 23rd. (be careful what you wish for...)
Just praying for the Pope and that a successor is elected in an uneventful election.

Bear said...

Patience: It's pretty bad out there. I've seen one, perhaps you have read her, who has stated that resigning because he is 'tired' "would be an act of such craven self-interest that I cannot, in simple charity, ascribe it to him."

Two things about this: One, he did not say he was 'tired', he said he was infirm in body and mind and could not, in good conscience continue on. That is a little more extensive than merely being 'tired'. Two: she cannot, in simple charity, call him a coward, but she can, in that same simple charity, call him a liar, because that is what she is doing in rejecting the reasons he has given for his retirement. Thank goodness she is being nice to him and is following her conscience.