Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Reflections on Pope Benedict’s Resignation

February 17th, 2013, Promulgated by Hopefull

Zenit carried two beautiful reflections on Pope Benedict’s resignation.  One is  a column by Abp. Gomez reflecting on the Pope’s retirement and legacy, and the second is by former Anglicans, expressing gratitude.  The Gomez article was earlier published in The Tidings, Southern CA’s Catholic Weekly on-line.   Here are a few excerpts and much wisdom and personal application from Abp. Gomez:

gomez_banner“This is the act of a saint…..Pope Benedict XVI has truly been a Holy Father to the family of God, his Catholic Church. His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ like act of humility and love for the Church….This is the act of one who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God’s people. May we all be given the grace to be so humble and so selfless in our ministries and daily responsibilities.” 

“Personally, I have always had great affection for this Pope. He is a beautiful man. … Pope Benedict is one of the wisest persons in our world today. I try to learn every day from his words and example…. We see from his speeches, homilies and writings, that this Pope understands the world in a deep way — from economics, politics and world affairs to the spiritual and moral issues that face every individual.” 

“Pope Benedict will be remembered as one of the Church’s great teachers of the faith….Education in the faith is my top pastoral priority for the Archdiocese. In order to truly live our faith, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it….I am concerned about a kind of “cultural Catholicism.” I’m concerned about people going to church on Sundays without really understanding why they are going or what they are doing. I’m concerned about people not really understanding the relationship between what we believe and how we should live. “

“Our faith is beautiful! There is richness to our Catholic faith that embraces all of life — from our private conversations with God in prayer to our participation in society. … Our faith should make all the difference in our lives. … Our religious education and catechesis should inspire a more intense practice of the faith. It should inspire people to want to know their faith better so that they can live it more fully — with greater love and devotion. “

Anglican Ordinary Monsignor Steenson

Anglican Ordinary Monsignor Steenson

 The other Zenit article (February 12, 2013) features the leader of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which covers the U.S. and Canada, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, who  identifies one of the key pieces of Pope Benedict’s legacy as his work to reconcile Anglicans with the Catholic Church.  The picture to the left is from Bernie’s post of Monsignor Steenson’s recent visit to Henrietta for the newly ordained Fr. Cornelius’ first Mass.  Formation of the Anglican Ordinariate is work that continued from Cardinal Ratzinger’s years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith.  Zenit reports Monsignor Steenson’s words:

“We members of the Ordinariate are in a particular way the spiritual children of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.”  He said that hearts are saddened with the news of the resignation, ‘but there is a deeper joy knowing that we are the fruit of his vision for Catholic unity.'”

“And we will pray and work diligently so that his labors in the vineyard might continue to bring forth a fruitful harvest,” Monsignor Steenson added.

Monsignor Keith Newton, ordinary of the England-based ordinariate, called Benedict XVI’s pontificate an “astonishing moment in the life of the Church…. He has exercised his pontificate with gentle wisdom and deep humility and will be especially remembered for his clear and profound teaching …. Those of us in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham have particular reason to thank God for his pontificate, as he opened the way for Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through his Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. He will forever hold a place in the hearts of those of us to whom he has been, in a particular way, a shepherd and Father.”

“Monsignor Steenson echoed those sentiments: ‘When Pope Benedict issued the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in November 2009, he laid a permanent foundation for the Ordinariate, to be the means to reconcile Anglican groups to the Catholic Church and that this Anglican patrimony might be shared with the Catholic Church. While the Ordinariate has been a special intention of Pope Benedict, it is now firmly established in the Catholic Church and will continue to serve as an instrument for Christian unity.'”

“The ordinary added that ‘perhaps the most important thing that we can say at this time is a heart-felt thank you to Pope Benedict XVI, for giving to us this beautiful gift of communion.'”


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3 Responses to “Reflections on Pope Benedict’s Resignation”

  1. Archbishop Gomez has been a blessing for LA, thanks for posting his beautiful reflection.

  2. JLo says:

    And thank you for the words of Monsignor Steenson as well. Under Benedict XVI we have leaped giant steps forward toward unity! +JMJ

  3. Diane Harris says:

    Here is another extraordinary view of Pope Benedict and his contributions. The Church must free itself from dependence on government largesse, and be responsible for the cost of its own charity (i.e. redirecting government tax money and becoming dependent on it is hardly charity), becoming free as was the Church in its early years in this country, founding schools, hospitals, orphanages. Then the Church will have freed itself to administer discipline (such as prohibiting reception of Communion) to those politicians and others who violate Church teaching! The picture is not gloomy, but freeing.

    It is not surprising that church activities dependent on government funding not being cut off then get targeted for the evils perpetrated by government (contraception, abortion, euthanasis, support of same sex unions.) And it is not surprising that employees of the Church would become lobbyists for how the government further spends its money (think $300M for babysitting!) Rather, being free enables Catholics (especially Church employees) to lobby instead against immoral and degrading government practices that destroy souls.

    Here is an excellent article that says it so much better:

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