Check it out.
Having thought about it a bit, I have a sneaking regard for the way BXVI handled this.
It takes a wise man to know when it is time to bow out. It takes a humble man to recognise when he is fast becoming physically unable to serve the church in a way that it needs him to.
Parallels came to mind with the Pope at 85 and how at the beginning of Tolkein’s Ring Trilogy, Bilbo Baggins at the height of his eleventy-first birthday party performs a magic trick, slipping on the ring, and disappearing in a puff of smoke leaving the astonished guests who never saw him again.
Leaving home and off on his last great adventure, just like Bilbo Baggins.
The test of Pope Benedict’s and his predecessor’s periods in office will be whether there will be candidates fitted in wisdom, experience and theological knowledge, ready to step up and to serve in leadership.
The old adage is that ‘under a great tree, nothing grows’. It was one of Margaret Thatcher’s weaknesses that she had not cultivated and grown leaders under her who were ready and capable of following her. In many ways she had got rid of those who were potential threats but also potential leaders.
It will be interesting to now see the generation which has grown up under these two Popes, and whether their periods in office have produced and trained leaders equipped and ready to take the Catholic church forward.
I found it really interesting to read [url=http://www.patheos.com/blogs/getreligion/2013/02/early-media-failures-in-b16-resignation-story/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+getreligion/DmXm+(GetReligion)]Mollie Z’s piece at Get Religion[/url] and the comments there citing much of the ignorant and biased media commentary yesterday.
This comment about one silly headline / article had me laughing outloud:
[blockquote]I normally try to keep my laughter to myself, but this time, I could not help but laugh out loud: â€œPopeâ€™s Successor Is Likely to Share His Doctrine.â€ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/europe/with-popes-resignation-focus-shifts-to-a-successor.html Really? Ya think so? You mean all those Cardinals are *gasp* Catholic, too?!? Who woulda thunk it?[/blockquote]