Monday, February 11, 2013
So the Holy Father has resigned. Hasn't happened since 1415 when a Pope resigned to end the Western schism. After eight years as Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI siting failing health that cannot meet the demands of his office and the needs of the Church surprised us all and the cardinals gathered in consistory with the news he would step down at 20.00 hours on February 28th. That'll send conspiracy nuts running to their copy of St. Malachy's prophecies! It will also send papabile and their supporters, Vatican commentators and others into a frenzy of speculation. No one has had a chance to build up a case for their man, no one has had time to dig around for gossip. It's all up in the air and perhaps provides space for the Holy Spirit to act more freely. Now it is our task to pray for the upcoming consistory who, perhaps with the advice of the present incumbent, will choose the next Pope. We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will fulfil Christ's promise to the Church so she can pick another pastor to continue the work of Blessed John Paul II and the present Holy Father.
Ignore all the commentators and speculators; pray, fast and do penance.