We must first understand the gravity and importance of this act. While we all knew of Pope Benedict’s declining health, no one ever thought that he would voluntarily resign. This hasn’t happened in over 600 years.
The Pope must have had grave and important reasons. His official reasons were poor “spiritual” and “mental” health. However, his statement conveyed more of a sense of incapacitation than a simple health issue.
In my opinion, Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected by his fellow cardinals in 2005, became aware that he was no longer able to make good, theologically proper, and God-centered decisions. This goes to the heart of his mission, being a guide for the Church, and him being a theologian. It means that he does not feel capable to discern God’s message from all of the noise out there in the world. .
The fact that his retirement coincides with the last day of the political elections in Italy is no coincidence. It clearly means that he feels responsible to stay and pray for the good, right, results of this important political choice. [more...]