Rome, Italy - In an unprecedented announcement to the Catholic Church and the world on February 11, 2013, the sitting Pontiff or Pope let it be known of his intentions to step down at the end of the month. Something a sitting Pope hasn’t done in 600 years, the last being Pope Gregory XII
who was elected in 1405 and step down in 1415.
A Pope steps aside
As reported by the Raleigh, North Carolina Catholic Diocese, Pope Benedict confessed he is no longer able to fulfill his duties and has grown weaker due to a deteriorating heath condition. Along with his decision come many questions and speculations as to the future of the Catholic Church. As with many large corporations the church is not immune to the practice of politics
, leaving people to wonder how liberal or conservative the next Pope will be on many modern issues facing it today.
With the Catholic Church’s house in disarray, it raises the question, will the church’s enemies seek this opportunity with the church leaders distracted to plot an attack on the church?
All eyes are on Rome
, watching closely the Vatican’s next move, of those considered for the post. Many worthy Catholic churches throughout the world are putting forth the names of their own in the hopes of gaining favor with the College of Cardinals. The choice they make will affect the direction of the church for the next 30 years depending on the age of their chosen successor.
The media and others have wasted no time in debating and criticizing the Pope’s decision. Many of the church’s own members are not sure if there was even a choice for their Holy Father to step down. However, many Bishops, Priests, and clergy from around the U.S. have expressed their deep compassion for the Holy Father.
“Pope Benedict made the decision for the good of the Church and on behalf of God’s people. The people have received it in the beautiful spirit it has been offered,”- Bishop, Michael F. Burbidge
Who will be the next Holy Father?
When posed the question of who Pope Benedict’s successor will be, Bishop Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A. replied, “Only the Holy Spirit knows. I trust the Cardinals will be guided to someone who will possess skill, ability and zeal in bringing the Truth of Christ to all peoples.” Catholic followers are entering the Lenten season as of Ash Wednesday leading up to Easter, their celebration of the resurrection of Christ, with uncertainty. Unlike the Pope elections of the past, today’s technology and social media outlet avail people the means to experience information as well as positive and negative points of self-expression about the events unfolding in the Holy city and Catholic followers around the world. This is an unprecedented time for the church, its followers may never see such an occurrence again in their life time.