Benedict XVI resigns papacy
Pope Benedict XVI quietly and humbly resigns with praise by inter-faithful and others
By Lawrence M. Ventline
With Pope Benedict’s “best light in prayer, he must lay down his office,” noted a surprised Allen Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, after waking to the “surprising” news of the pontiff’s resignation Monday. The eighty-five year-old pope will retire later this month, eight years after the solemn and universal shepherd steered the Catholic Church amid a storm-tossed and lingering sex abuse scandal that still rocks the fledgling faithful.
Alicja Karlic, editor of the Tygodnik Poliski, the Polish Weekly newspaper based in Rochester Hills, concurs. “Some works cannot be served without being powered by energy and strength, although he is wise with humility — something we should learn beyond the lightning storm announcement Benedict sparked,” added Karlic.
Mike Kappel, a leader of the Catholic Alumni Club International, agrees. “Benedict realizes that a true leader knows when it is time to pass on his/her leadership so that the mission of the organization, the church, can be properly served,” concluded Kappel of Belleville, IL.
It’s the first time a pope resigned since 1415 when Gregory XII did. “I didn’t know a pope could resign,” said a shocked Linda Beaumont of Madison Heights. “But, I’d like someone to follow who does more leading than heading the church,” concluded Beaumont of the All Faiths Festival, an outreach group of metropolitan Detroit.
I WAS SHOCKED AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT LIKE MANY OTHERS. WHEN THE SHOCK WORE OFF I REALIZED THAT WHAT THE HOLY FATHER DID TOOK COURAGE AND FAITH- courage because this is unprecedented in modern time and faith because he followed his heart and conscience after much prayer which convinced him that what he was doing was for the good of the Church. Let us keep him in our hearts and prayers in the days ahead – Msgr. Tom Machalski, the Chancellor of Orchard Lake Schools.
I was happy to hear that Pope Benedict decided to retire (resign). He has been in failing health and he must certainly have decided that he could not carry on his duties at the level that “he personally” felt was in the best interest of the Catholic Church. This retirement (resignation) speaks very well of him and his integrity over what had to be a very difficult decision that he must of reflected upon for some time, said Frank J. Dmuchowski, Parishioner Our Lady of Częstochowa Church, Sterling Heights, MI.
Benedict’s inter-religious outreach between Israel and the Vatican “had never been better,” said chief rabbi Yona Metzger in Israel, praising the pope’s faith links the world over between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, among others.
“By outstanding interfaith work of certain and realistic local church pastors, I’m hoping for the gene pool to spread with a married clergy and Vatican Council III led by Benedict’s successor,” said Rabbi Mordehai Waldman of Berkley, formerly of Congregation Beth Tephilath Moses in Mt. Clemens. “Pain and pangs of growing confront all faiths,” said the retired Waldman.
Very sorry to hear that Pope Benedict XVI is in failing health and yet admire that he is wise enough to know that it is best not only for him but for the future of the Church if he yields his role to a younger person who has the energy to fulfill this demanding job. Truly thankful that he visited Israel and especially gave honor to the Jewish holy sites of the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Holocaust museum and memorial Yad Va’Shem. I pray that whomever is chosen to be the next pope will continue in this light of seeking peace in the Middle East and elsewhere, and strengthening the bonds of friendship with the Jewish people worldwide, among others. May Pope Benedict XVI be blessed with God’s healing powers and be surrounded by the love of family, friends, and community for the rest of his days.
Rabbi Dorit Edut, Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network, Huntington Woods, MI
A pope has not resigned his Vatican office since Gregory XII in 1415, over 600 years ago. Locally, however, the head shepherd of Detroit, John Cardinal Dearden, stepped down in 1980 after leading 1.2 million faithful since 1958. Frail health due to a heart attack was cited.
A successor of Pope Benedict XVI is expected to be elected by a Vatican conclave of about 120 cardinals by March 31, Easter Sunday, a fifty-day celebration observing the resurrection of Jesus, following a forty-day Lenten period of intense prayer, fasting, and alms giving for Catholics that begins Wednesday. Marked in area churches with the remains of burnt palm fronds, foreheads are impressed with ashes, a reminder of their mortality.
(Reach Rev. Lawrence M. Ventline, D.Min., a pastor and nationally certified spiritual director, fitness instructor, and counselor, at (586) 777 9116, or, visit http://www.religionrootsrelationships.blogspot.com/).