Girls, I'm very sorry if you hear it first from me. I woke up early and found out from European friends on Facebook, and then woke up poor B.A.
The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, who is very old and, I suspect, growing very ill, is abdicating.
If you are a Catholic, you may be shocked and saddened by this news, and thinking about how John Paul II was a model to us of dying. I certainly did. John Paul II died very publicly, perhaps to show us how illness, old age and death should not be shunned with fear and shame. However, if there is anyone who knows what affect an ill, old and dying pontiff has on the health of the Church, it must be Benedict XVI.
Damian Thompson has sensible commentary.
But, oh dear, what a time to be away from our Extraordinary Form community! Our priest is on holiday , too, so we all have to face this crisis without him. Oh dear!
Update: Feel free to use the combox to emote, although don't scare anybody with St. Malarky or whatever his name is purported to be. Such a shock when I checked Facebook this morning; I woke up early (jetlag continues) so I got the news only about fifty minutes later than friends in Rome.
What a lot has happened in eight years! Personally, I am very grateful for Summorum Pontificum and also for the new Anglican Ordinariate, although don't tell the Eavesdroppers I said that. I am also grateful that Keith Cardinal O'Brien, unlike some other bishops I can think of, took Summorum Pontificum seriously.
Today is a sad day for a lot of Trids because we saw Benedict XVI as our great protector from powerful people who simply cannot understand or appreciate the rich liturgical and theological traditions of the Church and want to sweep of them away to give more oxygen to some new but over-flogged and dying liturgical and theological horses. Many of us might also be a little scared because abdicating is not very trad. Dying in office is trad. Abdicating is not. However, there is nothing we can do but pray and trust that Papa Ratzi knows what he is doing and that he knows best.