Personal: The abdication of Benedict XVI

As I have said elsewhere, I am Catholic. I am not a very good Catholic in terms of things like going to Church regularly, in fact I am a very bad Catholic. Also, I do not agree with the Catholic Church in all things, though I generally do not make a point about trumpeting where I disagree – ultimately that is between the Church and me. Nevertheless, Catholicism is where I feel most of home spiritually, and have done so since my conversion (from Church of England) back in 2000. Therefore when I first saw the headline about Benedict XVI announcing his imminent abdication it took me a moment to actually process properly what I read.

There are over a billion Catholics on this earth – the largest single-denominational group of any religion I believe. In large part for that very reason there are many hundreds of millions more who define themselves, to a greater or less extent, in opposition to the Catholic Church. In ways both subtle and unsubtle what will happen in Rome next month when a new Pontiff is chosen will greatly influence and impact a vast segment of the human population. This has the potential to be as important as anything else going on in the world right now.

All I will say is this: do not believe any of the “predictions”. Very many of the predictions about Benedict XVI have been shown to be in error (he was not the ultra-reactionary, for example). Likewise many predictions of John Paul II were incorrect.

Also, I just wish to thank Benedict for his eight years of, at times, very thankless service. I wish for him a happiness, harmony, and peace for the time that he has left amongst us.

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1 comment
  1. I am precisely the same type of Catholic as you. And it took me a few moments to process. My husband has very strong feelings about certain parts of the Church… but I tend to be more tempered. As far as the Pope, I consider that he has examined his conscience and for whatever reason (which is none of my business) he has come to believe that he must step down. Done. It should be no more convoluted. Whatever the reason, it’s between him and God. Similar to my issues – between me and God. And the Church has given me a comfortable place to embrace my own spirituality…

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