I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s and woke up one morning to hear on the news that the pope had died. We watched on television as the conclave met, and celebrated the sight of white smoke spewing out of the chimney. Then just weeks later, I woke up to hear that the pope died.
"I know he died. Duh."
"No, the new one died."
We all survived - well, except for the pontiffs who didn't. Please don't misunderstand, I don't underestimate the great love for Pope Benedict XVI that millions around the world have. I also have a realistic understanding of the aging process and know the limits of most people who are well into their eighties. He is doing what he believes to be best for our Church and has done some very remarkable things in the time he has served us as shepherd. I believe him when he says he reached the decision prayerfully. Give the man a break. And what a good man, fully human, he is.
What I find frustrating is the fact that so many feel called to weigh in on what the Church should and shouldn't do. It is bad enough when non-Catholics call for a more 'progressive' pontiff, or one who will allow priests to marry, females to become priests, gay men to be ordained, etc. - but then when fellow Catholics begin to opine similarly, it drives me batty! Add to this the uncertainty of individuals in the US who are currently without a Bishop and the people who seize upon the situation to undermine the Church, I completely shed all charitable thoughts and want to scream! What would I yell?
- If you aren't Catholic, mind your own business!
- If you are Catholic and think women should be ordained and/or: you believe the Church teachings on the gay lifestyle, abortion, artificial birth control, clown Masses, use of Latin in the Liturgy, the Eucharist, etc. are wrong - please leave. Stop your whining, take your self-righteous and condescending opinions and go. There are hundreds of options within 100 mile radius of just about anywhere in the lower 48 states. Buh bye. See ya!
- If you're Catholic and find yourself dipping into the realm of despair from time to time, adopt a cardinal. Pray. Trust. All shall be well.