Editorial: The willingness to relinquish

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WE LIVE in interesting days, indeed, as amid all the abnormal, unusual, and unexpected events, both man-made and nature-induced, we are also witnessing the resignation of a Catholic Pope, the last of which happened in 1415, when Pope Gregory XII stepped down to help end a church schism (the threat breaking up into different factions).

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” Pope Benedict XVI told cardinals.

“In order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths which in the last few months, have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said.


Of course it’s shocking, it’s only now when we realized that Pope’s do have that option and that a Pope will resign.

We’ve seen how the few Popes in our lifetime served until death; even if they were already being propped up. Pope Benedict XVI is old at 85, needs to be propped up by aides sometimes, and admits that he is no longer fit enough to administer to the whole Catholic Church.

Somehow, there is a message there somewhere, as the Philippines is still embroiled in a lot of controversies – and the unholy manner by which some member of the clergy attack the controversies.

There is no better time for the clergy to reflect deeply and see themselves for who they really are, and like the Pope, opt to admit their frailty, whether it be of faith, of physical strength, psychological stability, and the most important of all, of Christ-likeness. Having done so, to take themselves out through their own free will because of a self-recognized incapacity “to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me”. But that’s wishful thinking.

That said, we still hope that the Pope’s resignation will go for naught and that we too will be encouraged to ponder on how relevant we still are in the set-up of things we are tasked to administer, politics and politicians included.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 13, 2013.


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