This is another post in our Guest Writer series that is meant to expand the set of opinions found on kraxinlogic. In the spirit of free speech and diverse opinions we will not be vetting or editing our guest posts in any way. We hope to encourage as many of these as possible in the future. Thanks Daniele for contributing to Krax!
Written by: Daniele Bozzelli
Much has been said in recent weeks about Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign. The news shocked the world of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, prompting much discourse over the reasons behind the decision. And once again, rumors and allegations of sexual abuse by homosexual clergy are at the forefront. But for a change, is it possible for something to happen within the Holy See without it being criticized incessantly?
Allegations over sexual abuses are not to be taken lightly, but the Catholic Church has constantly been attacked by the same accusations for decades. Instead of trying to find excuses as to why the aging 85 year old Pope decided to resign, can’t we just accept that the leader of 1.196 billion Catholics might actually be physically unfit to lead? How is being a Pope any different than being an elected Prime Minister or President as a leader of a large group of people? Leaders have responsibilities and are constantly required to be attentive and mobile to the ever-changing events of the world. It’s reasonable for a person who is unfit to handle the responsibilities of such a high position to resign. In fact, it is an admirable quality to take such a monumental step back. One might even call it… modern?
The question to be posed is: if this hasn’t happened in 600 years, there must be a reason, right? The Catholic Church is constantly criticized over its inability to change and adapt to modern societal practices, and is often cited as an antiquated and archaic institution. So why is it that this attempt at change has been made to seem like a major cause for concern or some sort of scandal? This decision might even create a new precedent for how the Pope should assume his responsibilities in the future. Real change is occurring from the top of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI has received so much criticism during his spiritual leadership of the Catholic Church, but now that he has decided to resign critics are still completely unsatisfied. It seems as if they are looking for excuses to continue to use the Catholic Church as a scapegoat for certain societal problems. Whichever way you turn, critics are ready to take jabs at the Church and the papacy.
Finally, the timing of the resignation coincides with the Easter season, the most important religious observance in the Roman Catholic calendar. Claims have been made that the decision is occurring at a time when the Church needs a leader, and should not be abandoned during a period of spiritual guidance. However, if the conclave timeline is observed, the election of a new Pope will coincide with Holy Week. What better way to introduce the new leader of the Catholic Church than with the celebration of death and resurrection, and the journey of life with an end and a new beginning?
The purpose of this post is not to be naïve and take recent events only at face value, but it is to shed some optimism on a topic that has been a victim of constant aggression and accusations. Amidst the scandals there is a ray of light. This ray of light is to bring the hope of a newly elected Pope with the energy and enthusiasm to lead the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI is not giving up, but rather acknowledging his human side. He will retreat to the Mater Ecclesiae convent where he will continue to pray in silent reflection. The Catholic Church has been around for over 2000 years and has gone through many trials and tribulations, but I am confident it will remain resilient. In his first sermon as Pope on April 24, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.” My prayer is that the proper attention is brought upon the dignity of the position and that it is not used as an excuse for constant criticism. For if there is a time for prayer and unity, it’s now. In a world of skepticism, a little bit of optimism wouldn’t hurt. I am a firm believer that faith and hope provide the optimism we need to persevere in the right direction. Perhaps the critics will consider this and try to be a part of the solution instead of the problem.
This is Daniele’s opinion, what’s yours?