Today marks one year since Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world – with his announcement that he would abdicate the papacy due to his advanced age and failing strength.
Much has happened in the Catholic Church in one year, as this resignation led to the election of Pope Francis – who has captured the attention and affection of Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world. A prolific writer, Benedict XVI gave a wealth of wisdom, knowledge and guidance to the Church during his pontificate, and even through his resignation, provided a unique opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work.
John L. Allen, Jr. at The Boston Globe has an excellent reflection on Pope Benedict’s resignation, and how it set the stage in a unique way for a man like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (a Latin American Jesuit with no Vatican experience) to be elected bishop of Rome. Allen wrote:
“Pope Francis is shaking things up in the Catholic Church to such an extent that many talk about a ‘Francis revolution.’ Yet the single most revolutionary act committed by any pope in at least the last 600 years fell exactly one year ago … and it wasn’t Francis who did it. … Francis wins plaudits for his humble nature, but Benedict’s act was arguably the zenith of papal humility.”
Read the full article at The Boston Globe.