February 28, 2013

Our Holy Father's Finale

It seemed appropriate, to say the least, to catch up on All Things Papal tonight. Listened to an excellent Gus Lloyd satellite radio show today featuring a Dr. Christopher B., whose last name unfortunately I did not catch. Interesting to hear such frank Catholic radio. 

Watched Benedict's last General Address via YouTube and his Ash Wednesday homily. A lot of "lasts", sadly.  Watched his helicopter go and I felt a moment of abandonment, truth to tell.  It felt unduly symbolic.  My wife asked me why previous popes don't usually retire and I didn't have an answer. But I think it's because we call him our "Holy Father" and just as my dad doesn't retire from his fatherhood, so do popes generally not retire from their position. In other words, it's not a job but...family.  

But in this fast-paced time there's a case to be made for younger, more vigorous popes.  Everything happens faster now, in part due to technologies which speed communication, so I think Benedict recognized that given the pace of cultural and political change the papacy (and thus the Church) might benefit from shorter pontificates and younger men.  As a big respecter and proponent of reason, it's understandable he would - he doesn't strike me as one particularly sentimental but enamored of truth, be it in reason or faith. And so he goes. Perhaps a case where his predilection for meditation, prayer and study coincided with what's best for the Church. We'll miss him.  

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