As Pope Steps Down, PI Reflects on His Legacy
Written by T.M. Gaouette | February 14, 2013
This week, Roman Catholic Christians were shocked to hear that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned. His last day will be February 28.
The last time a pope resigned was in 1415. That’s nearly 600 years ago–77 years before Christoper Columbus discovered America!
The pope is the head of the Roman Catholic church. He is the highest authority when it comes to biblical teaching, and one of his major responsibilities is to ensure that the Catholic church is consistent and accurate in its ministering throughout the world.
The position of pope is preceded by a long career in the church, including the positions of priest, bishop and cardinal. That’s a lifetime dedicated to leading people to Christ and living the Gospel. In resigning, Pope Benedict is not giving up his devotion to God, but his vocation as a public leader and a teacher has become too much.
I took this decision in full freedom for the good of the Church after praying for a long time and examining my conscience before God” (Pope Benedict XVI, chicagotribune.com).
Although his position as pope only lasted seven years, Pope Benedict’s many successes included his creation of a new pontifical council in 2010. It was designed to focus on “progressive secularization.” He wanted to promote evangelization in countries that had become secularized or, in his words, were living in an “eclipse of the sense of God.”
Pope Benedict’s fear was, and still is, that Christian society has lost its focus. We as Christians are called to follow and share the Gospel, but so many are getting lost in the “world” and becoming secularized. Instead of living by Christ’s standards, many are living the values of society or simply going their own way.
And so the process of selecting a new pope is underway, and the plan is to have a new pope in by the end of March. I pray that God guides this decision.
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