An Ancient Tradition In a Modern World
- Pope Benedict XVI Gave Signs From the Beginning That his Papacy Would be Short--PennLive.com
Benedict XVI stunned the world when he announced Feb. 11 he would resign as pope. But in retrospect, all the signs were there, and they even accelerated in recent months.
- Inside the Mysterious Papal Conclave — MSNBC
MSNBC takes a high-tech glimpse at the process of the election of the Pope.
Leaving What Behind
Catholics are now in the interregnum, that period when the Church is without a leader. It is a unique one though, as for the first time in centuries, the Pope has basically abdicated the Chair of Peter.
Part of me felt sorry for Benedict XVI, he had a tough act to follow. His predecessor had a long reign and watched the fall of Communism in Europe and apartheid in South Africa.
But Benedict chose to stick to a traditional path. He continued to speak out against contraception and homosexuality. To deal with decling numbers, he allowed Anglicans opposed to that faith's acceptance of homosexuals to join the Catholic Church,
Also, there is the issue of sexual abuse by clergy. Might Benedict have left to leave that issue to his successor.
There is matter of that decline. In Europe, people are losing their faith and in Africa and Asia, people are turning to more evangelical forms of Christianity. Could Benedict have turned many people off with a faith that seems out of sync with a modern world.
Finally, could there be a "shadow papacy". Benedict has said he will not be seen in public, but might he still be heard from through others.