Monday, 11 February 2013

Pray for the Holy Father

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.


Mrs. Pinkerton said...

I feel very sad, but he must know his own limitations. He is such a wise and loving man. It seems such a loss for the Church.

Bernadette said...

There is actually a very cool website called Pray More Novenas which is starting one specially for Pope Benedict XVI, timed to end on his last day as our Pope. You can find it here:

They email you the novena prayers each day, which makes it awfully convenient!

kozz said...

Sad news. Makes me somewhat worried and unsettled.

Seraphic said...

Me too. I so was not expecting this. Almost nobody was expecting this! In my TLM community, we were all praying he would have a verrrrry long, miraculously-for-pope-in-his-eighties-and-nineties-vigorous pontificate!

n.panchancha said...

Too many emotions. Time for prayers.

I'm not part of a tridentine community, but God bless you all and keep you, and give you His peace!

Magdalena said...

Oh goodness, what is to become of us? How very sad! :-(

But the Church can never fall out of God's hands, so I firmly believe the Holy Spirit will guide everything.
A novena is certainly a good idea, and I'll participate in it.

All this on top of a "Single problem" of mine - I'm struggling against a strong attraction to a married male colleague. I just brought this to confession and now feel like after a surgery followed by a very slow healing process. Which is better than feeling utterly helpless and overwhelmed and lonely, as before confession.
And now our Pope is abdicating. Oh dear. But everything is going to be alright, right?

Seraphic said...

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

Sorry about the crush! As common as the common cold, alas!

Antigone in NYC said...

I woke up this morning surprised to read the news, and surprised more by the anxious reactions. I am so sorry for all who are experiencing them, and I hope that none of your fears will come to pass.

Maybe it's because I always felt that Benedict XVI would have a short, transitional tenure, and since he's my favorite pope of modern times (sorry, JPII, and I still admire and respect you!) I'm rather happy (truth: delighted) that I don't have to face the end of his papacy with the double blow of mourning his passing. I wish him peace and comfort in his final days, and I suspect and hope that there is wisdom yet he will contribute before he rests.

Also, I'm not very traditional, and, well, it delights me for the same reasons it's concerning you and others: he's breaking new ground (okay, technically ground that was broken 500 years ago, but still). No criticism at all here, just observation, and I appreciate that as a Novus Ordo goer I have fewer fears about marginalization/erasure (Although, who knows, really? History takes funny turns...). I realize that not all changes are necessarily changes, but right now I am excited to see what role a retired pope will have in the Church.

I have immense trust in Papa Ratzi's self-awareness, keen intelligence, good faith, and love of God, and even if PAPA is making a mistake, I know GOD has it under control. We'll get through this!

Alisha said...

Be at peace. Benedict is smart, holy and, I've heard it said, thinks in centuries. He understands very well the time we are living in, his place in it, and I wouldn't be surprised if he knows a bit more than we do about what's coming. He is accompanied by the prayers of the whole church, the saints, Christ. Though I am terribly sad for I love him, we will not be orphaned.
I think we are going to face some persecutions, but honestly, I think we have to choose joy now and not succumb to doomsdaying. Jesus is beautiful and He reigns, no matter what! It was good to see you :)

Allamanda said...

It was a bit of a shock, but there might have been signs of it in the past few weeks. He's been more clearly supportive of specific groups rather than generally supportive of the ideas they espouse.

I think that his resignation(abdication?)will be a sign in its own way, just as JPII's suffering and old age were a sign then.

The world is very quick to condemn the papacy as power-hungry. His stepping down shows that this is not true (though it will be twisted, no doubt, to anything that suits the general theme).

I pray that he has a long and fruitful life ahead. Also, that he continues to write.

Seraphic said...

I still feel like the rug was pulled out from under us. Grumble, grumble.

Jam said...

I'm not "worried" -- in fact I can't think at all about the next pope yet -- but it does make me sad. He must truly feel unwell to do this. His clear intellectual vigor overshadowed for me the reports of his weakness, so of course it's a little sad to come to reality. And while the next pope, Deo volente, will have wonderful gifts to share with us, he won't be Joseph Ratzinger, and that's a sad thought.

I think he's done it rather well. No need to drag it out and let the rumor mill run and fester as it were. I appreciate that.