Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to step down from the papacy may be “the most humble and obedient act of service that he can render,” said author and professor Scott Hahn.
While reflecting on the pope’s surprising decision, Hahn noted,
“It’s a profound reminder that the papacy is not an office of power, but one of service.”
Hahn, a professor of biblical theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, said that in retrospect there were several clues that showed Pope Benedict was considering resignation. Most notable were his visits in 2009 and 2010 to the relics of St. Celestine V, the only other pope in history who freely resigned from the papacy.
Regarding the impact this decision will have on the Catholic Church at large, Hahn observed, “I’m sure the Holy Spirit will be steering the barque of Peter in a wonderful direction, but it is unsettling, because he is a father, and as we think of the Church as a family, there comes a time when a father becomes so old and infirm, that one of the most profound gestures of love might be to hand things over to the next one in line.”
You can read more of Dr. Scott Hahn’s reflections on this topic here.