You always resign, Benedict!
I’m going to take the liberty to translate this article from https://oehd.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/siempre-renuncias-benedicto/ to English because I truly feel the message delivered by the writer has a lot of value. I would like to point out that even though I grew up Catholic and I consider myself one, I have doubts about certain things the Church, as a human institution, has attempted to drill in my brain. I am a believer of a higher power but I am by no means a devoted, hard-core Catholic. I believe in what I believe in and as I said before, I believe in this message:
You always resign, Benedict!
The real reason for the Pope’s resignation.
I am 23 years old and I don’t understand a lot of things. There are a lot of things that cannot be understood at 8:00 AM when you receive a call saying: “Daniel, the Pope has demitted.” I quickly responded: “Demitted?”. The answer was more than clear, “I mean he resigned, Daniel, the Pope has resigned!”
The Pope has resigned. This is how an endless amount of newspapers will start the day tomorrow morning. This is how this morning started for most, and this is how quickly some lost faith and many other strengthened theirs, and the thought of him resigning is one of those things that are hard to get a grasp on.
I am a Catholic. One of many. One of those that durning their childhood was taken to mass and then grew up and started being apathetic to it. At some point I took all my beliefs and the Church and dumped them in the trash, but the Church is not there to be trashed by me or anyone else (not even the Pope). Then, I grew up and I started caring for my spirituality (and I must admit that it had something to do with falling in love with a girl that goes to mass, and two extraordinary guides that I call parents), and just like that I continued a path in which I now say: I am a Catholic. One of many, yes, but a Catholic nonetheless. Regardless of wether I am a Doctor in Theology or an illiterate of the scripts (of whom there are millions), what everyone knows if that the Pope is the Pope. Loved, hated, object of mockery and prayer, the Pope is Pope and he dies being Pope. It was for this reason that when I woke up to this news, just like millions of human beings, I wondered why? Why is Mr. Ratzinger resigning? Is he afraid? Is his age taking the better of Him? Has he lost his faith? Has he regained it? And today, after 12 hours, I believe I have found the answer: Mr. Ratzinger, has been resigning his entire life.
As simple as that.
The Pope resigned to an average life. He resigned to having a wife. He resigned to having children. He resigned to having a salary. He resigned to mediocrity. He resigned to hours of sleep for the hours of study. He resigned to being just another priest, but he also resigned to being a special priest. He resigned to filling his head with Mozart to fill it with Theology. He resigned to crying in the arms of his parents. He resigned, at 85, to being retired and enjoying his grandchildren in the comfort of his own home at the warmth of a fireplace. He resigned to enjoying his country. He resigned to taking days off. He resigned to his vanity. He resigned to defending himself against those that attacked him. It is clear to me, now, that the Pope was a guy devoted to resignation.
And today he has proved it to me again. A Pope that resigns to his papacy when he knows that the Church is not in his hands but in the hands of something or someone bigger is a wise Pope. No one is bigger than the Church. Not the Pope, not the priests, not the seculars, not the cases of pederasty, not the cases of compassion. No one is more than the Church. Being a Pope at this moment and in this World is an act of heroism. I remember with out a doubt the stories of the first Pope, a fellow named Peter. How did he die? Yes, in a cross, crucified just like his master, but he was crucified upside down. Nowadays, Ratzinger says good bye in the same fashion: crucified by the media, crucified by the popular opinion and crucified by some of his fellow Catholics. Crucified to the shadow of someone more charismatic. Crucified in his humility, the humility that is so hard to understand. He is a contemporary martyr, a martyr for which we can make up stories, one that is easy to defame, one that can be accused and will never answer back; and when he does all he says is: “I ask for forgiveness for my imperfections”. Not more, not less. What a classy human being! I could be a mormon, an atheist, a homosexual, or someone who is pro-abortion, and it wouldn’t change the way I see him, a guy that has been attacked and mocked by so many people and responds with such humility. We don’t see this kind of people in the world anymore.
I live in a World where mocking the Pope if funny, but it’s a sin when you’re mocking a homosexual (asides from the fact that you are also labeled as a fascist, intolerant, conservative, or even a nazi). I live in a World where hypocrisy feeds everyone’s souls. I live in a World where we judge an 85 year old man that wants the best for the Institution that he represents, and we attack him because we say that he has no right to resign. Yes, because in this World no one resigns to anything. No one gets lazy when going to school or work. I live in a world where 85 year old men are active and working to helping the masses. Yes, sure.
I now know, Mr. Ratzinger, that I live in a World that will miss you. In a World that did not read your books, or your encyclicals, but a World that in 50 years will remember how, with a simple gesture of humility, a man that was Pope saw something better in the horizon and decided to get out of the way for the love to his Church. You will die at peace Mr. Ratzinger, without any opulent memorials, without your body being exposed in Saint Peter Square, with out thousands of people crying while waiting for the light in your room to be turned off. You will die, just like you lived as Pope, in humility.
Benedict XVI, thank you for resigning.