To every thing there is a season Ecclesiastes 3:1a
For those of us who read the news this morning, we found out that Pope Benedict XVI will resign from his Papal duties as of February 28th, citing health reasons. The last pope to resign from the Papacy, which is usually for life, was Gregory XII in 1415.
This is going to be interesting in the days ahead-especially with the timing of Benedict’s resignation. First, the Lenten season’s about to kick off on Wednesday the 13th, which is one of the Church’s (especially Catholic) important seasons of the liturgical year. Second, with the growing sex abuse scandal, it’s no surprise that Benedict’s caught plenty of heat both inside and outside the Catholic Church. And third, what will be the impact on the billion souls who are part of the Catholic Church?
As we approach Lent, and with such news, could this be the time of transition that the Catholic Church needs? Will we see the College of Cardinals-the governing body-use Lent to take a good hard look at itself as it prepares to elect a new pope? Will we see the emergence of a pope more in step with the times? Will we also see the sex abuse scandal finally brought to light as this no doubt had an influence on Benedict’s decision? Will we start to see long-awaited changes in the church itself?
Only time will tell. Stay tuned. Peace.