Yesterday Afternoon my oldest asked me why the Pope resigned. As I started giving my answer concerning his ability to do the job it occurred to me that if the year was 1513, 1913 or even 1963 this might not be happening.
Historically unless the an invading army drove him out, or if he was imprisoned by somebody the duties of the Pope were a tad different.
Yeah he still had to manage the Catholic Church worldwide, yes he had to celebrate Key large scale masses. Yes he had to receive distinguished visitors and yes he had to also govern a country that at once time was larger than it is now.
But all of that could be done easily from the Vatican, not a lot of travel required and in terms of the public only a miniscule number of people would have ever seen him.
Then came Blessed John Paul II
For over a quarter of a century the Pope was everywhere, constantly on TV, constantly traveling the world bringing the word of God everywhere he went.
More than that he understood modern media and used the power of his trips and television to make the most of every single one of his appearances, even in his infirmary to spread the world.
If you were born in say 1970 or after you never heard of a Pope who never left Italy, who stayed within the Vatican, who was not seen all over the world and all over your TV set. For you that is what being Pope is all about. That is simply what a pope does.
The message of Christ and the Gospel is unchanging but thanks to the example of John Paul II the way to deliver it in the modern world has.
People are saying that John Paul II’s infirmary influenced the current Pope’s resignation but I submit and suggest that is was not his infirmary but his vigorous papacy that is the more likely culprit.
Now in truth we don’t know the details of Pope Benedict XVI’s physical or mental condition so perhaps even a 15th century papacy might have been more than he can handle, but with the new Papal normal established by his illustrious predecessor the standards are different and Pope Benedict XVI has decided he just can’t be the pope the Church in this modern world needs.
That shows an understanding of the chair of Peter that the media lacks, but that a post for later.
[thermometer raised=0 target=300 height =200 ]
A lot of visits yesterday but no tip jar hits. That will make you humble in a hurry but $60 a day for the rest of the week will get me to that $300 dollar paycheck.