Holy Father to Resign
I was shocked to find out that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is set to resign the See of St Peter at the end of the month.
The Holy Father released the following statement
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
"I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.
"However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to steer the boat of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.
"For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."
This has come as a massive surprise, something I am sure that many Catholics across the globe are feeling at this moment.
He was our Sheppard in the night, the leader of the Church Militant and the Successor of St Peter.
I have to be honest and say that I did not greet his election with much joy; in fact I was quite openly hostile and arrogant. I was longing for either a South American or African Pope. I was quite Liberal at the time and believed it was time to shake up the Church but my feelings then were not informed with prayer, meditation or knowledge of both the Gospel and traditions of the Holy Mother Church.
Looking back I realise he was the right man to succeed the much loved Pope John Paul II. He was a fierce defender of Catholic dogma and the truth in these Godless times we live in.
It's perhaps best that the guidance of the Conclave of Cardinals is left to the Holy Spirit and not this humble sinner.
His resignation is in stark contrast to his predecessor who struggled until his dying days with the supreme duty and sacrifice of the office he was entrusted with.
Pope John Paul II encompassed all that was good about Catholicism and I only hope and pray that the successor of Pope Benedict XVI has the strength and vision to lead our Church in these difficult times.
Posted by Chris Gaskin at 12:44 p.m.