Monday, February 18, 2013

Thoughts on the Holy Father's Abdication

-- Pope Benedict is still the Pope, and will be until February 28th.  He is not a former Pope yet.

-- Pope Benedict is not a modernist.  The Pope who gave us Summorum Pontificum and Anglicanorum coetibus and generally spent his entire reign undoing the work of the modernists cannot be one himself.  "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:26).  

-- I don't for one minute believe that the Holy Father is "coming down off the Cross," or that he is abandoning his flock to the wolves.  On the contrary, to lay down the burden with which he was entrusted eight years ago probably causes him greater suffering than if he were to stick it out to the end, since now he subjects himself to all kinds of reproaches, perhaps even from himself.  No, this decision of his is surely guided by other than selfish considerations.  He may be doing precisely what is necessary to keep the wolves away from the flock, and doing it at a moment when he still can, before it is too late.  Perhaps he is acting now to prevent some bad things from being done in his name later, when he is incapacitated.  Not every threat to the Church is public.  We really cannot judge the reasons he gives for stepping down without knowing all of the circumstances amid which he takes this action.  

-- If you think Pope Benedict is a modernist, and also think he is abandoning his flock to the wolves in tough times, you need to make up your mind which he is and not try to have it both ways.  If he is a modernist, then he is at least partly to blame for the tough times, and you should be relieved to see the back of him.  If you find yourself stunned at being deprived of his leadership, then you must never have had reason to suspect him of being a modernist before now.  Since the relinquishment of power and the departure from the world into a monastery for a life of prayer and silence is not consistent with the modernist ethos, you still don't have reason to suspect him of being a modernist now.

-- For the Holy Father to say that he is abdicating freely and voluntarily is not the same as to say that he acting frivolously.  Rather, he is making it clear that he is acting freely in order to comply with canon law.  You'd have to go back to the Pope's toddlerhood to find an example of him doing something frivolous, and even then you probably won't turn up anything.

-- God is still in charge.  Let us ask Him to bless Pope Benedict, and to send us a holy new Pope as soon as possible.

-- God is still in charge.  And finally,

-- God is still in charge.  Case closed.


  1. Thank you, Anita!
    I think it was G.K. who quipped that the only absolute action possible to an absolute monarch is abdication. "Orthodoxy," maybe.
    God bless! I hope your foot is better,
    and your Lent holy.

  2. Somebody wrote an Objective yet Orthodox article on Pope Benedict's reign.