Pope Benedict XVI is resigning effective tomorrow, February 28. As the pope retires, we must consider the reason why this is good for the Catholic Church as a whole.
Pope Benedict XVI has cited his ailing health as the impetus for the decision, which includes a secretly installed pacemaker and potential blindness in one eye. Joseph Ratzinger says that “God told me to quit” but others believe there is a conspiracy involving allegations of a “secret dossier” which was revealed to Benedict. Pope Benedict supposedly quit not due to health, but to avoid the upcoming scandal.
According to USA Today, church historian Matthew Bunson says that the decision for the pope to resign was led by Joseph Ratzinger watching the last years of Pope John Paul II who suffered with Parkinson’s:
“I believe he is no longer physically capable of the effort, and he quit rather than put the entire church through the experience of watching a pope grow increasingly infirm and die. Ratzinger was well positioned in those years to see how everything slowed down in the governance of the church.”
According to Bloomberg, Monsignor Robert Wister, a priest and professor of church history at Seton Hall University, points out that the leadership of the Catholic Church is skewed toward Europeans and Italians especially even though many of the 1.2 billion Catholics are from other parts of the world:
“The balance is terribly skewed, half are Europeans and that is much the least significant part of the church and one of the weakest.”
No matter the real story for the pope resigning, these facts present good reasons for why Pope Benedict XVI retiring will be good for the Catholic Church. If his health is failing as claimed, then passing on leadership seems a wise move. If there is a conspiracy, then Pope Benedict should step down and allow a new scandal-free pope to lead the church. Lastly, the new pope should represent the people of the Catholic Church and not just the bureaucracy of Rome.
Do you agree that the pope resigning is a good thing for the Catholic Church?