BENEDICT …. ¿WHY DID YOU DO THAT?
One of my best friends sent me an urgent email on February 11. The Pope has resigned! Off course, I did not believe it. Another half-baked truth of the media, I thought. But my friend is one of my very-close buddies. We get very well along, and he knows my interests and feelings by heart. My never-married, hence, never-divorced friend, is a father of a 4 year old kid, fighting with his non-ex-wife about who does what and how for the child. A typical pseudo atheist. No wonder he is amazed about my strange catholic faith, my easy-going life attitude. No wonder I can’t take my heart out of his life. We both run through the same tunnel. We both suffer and bleed whilst we sail through the uncharted waters of life. But only one of us has received the gift of faith. It’s an undeserved gift handed over to me when I was in my first teens, a fire torch that enlightens our tunnel. And such faith has for me, three untouchables: Jesus Christ, Our Lady the Virgin Maria and the Pope. No one should dare to put his hands on any of them. These are solid rock pillars, buried in the very bottom of my being.
Since he knows me by heart, he knows my heart. He guessed that such news would shake up my body and soul. He guessed well. They did. I laid stunned on my chair. Sadness and despair shook up every cell of my body. At the same time, my head started to understand quickly who had done what. It was Benedict XVI, was one of the most brilliant theologian of the Catholic Church of all times, God’s humblest and wisest servant. In short: he is a saint. And that’s why I knew he had done the right thing.
Furthermore, I kept crying, and I still do, for the crushing dilemma this man has taken upon his shoulders. He is a Pope literally, at crossroads. He is the very Vicar of Christ nailed at Christ’s Cross. Because, Benedict XVI knows that the Church must sail deep into the sea of the Twenty First century by reforming itself by adapting its structures to the new postmodern world. At the end of last year, the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization took place. On July 2013, millions of young people will meet at the new World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is clear that Christ is looking for the young. And his Church has to put herself on track. Benedict knew that he could not travel to Rio de Janeiro, because the doctors had warned him.
On the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope announced the start of the Year of the Faith. In an unscripted speech he stated that “the immediate impression of the Council that got through to the people, was that of the media which “saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church” an interpretation that is “outside of the faith, with different hermeneutics … a hermeneutic of politics”. Such a view was “so dominant and more efficient that it “created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery. In reality, seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized ... and the true council has struggled to materialize, to be realized”. Thus, the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real strength of the council was present. Such strength “has slowly emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church”. And he continued: “it is our task to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and the Church is really renewed”. Hence, now the time has arrived for true reform, of true renewal of the Church.
What a wise Pastor! What an incredible Man of God! Advised by the Holy Spirit, he knew that the right time had come to renounce the Papacy for love of the Church, so that a Pope better suited for the huge task of deeply reforming and leading the Church into the deep sea of the XXI century. The Counter-reformation Catholicism it’s over. It’s time to leave the shallow waters of institutional maintenance, to put out Peter’s boat into the deep sea of the World. We need an enlivened and smaller Church. Small and vibrant communities not big structures and empty buildings which are visited as museums. We’ve got the sails and the boat. Especially young people and people of good will are awaiting for Christ.
Back to basics. We need more simplicity. Take Francis of Assisi and so many others as an example. It’s time to reform the unsuited and old administrative structures, and maybe to put younger people in charge. The Church is here for winning the hearts of millions of souls for Christ. Young people thirst. Persons of good will thirst for Christ. We need a fire torch to cross the cultural meaningless tunnel humanity is currently walking through, a fire-torch that enkindles our hearts, knowing that there is a personal Christ who takes care of each one of us. Faith’s fire torch is there for giving light for all humans, not for showing off how much burning or heat power the Catholic faith is able to unfold.
The Third Millennium has opened up for the Church. Only God knows what will trigger this renunciation for the Church’s future. His Church, God’s Church is more than ever in the hands of the Holy Spirit.