Valerie Bergeron & Anthony Masiello, ’Doah Contributing Writers
February 20, 2013
Earlier this month Pope Benedict XVI took the world by surprise when he announced his resignation from the papacy. While the media is awhirl with conspiracy theories and criticism, Pope Benedict has clearly stated his reasons for leaving. In his announcement he said, “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.”
The Pope has experienced many health problems over the course of the past couple of decades, including several strokes, heart complications and trouble walking. These health complications along with the stress of being Pope clearly began to take a toll. Pope Benedict XVI is the 266th pope in the Catholic Church and has been a champion of reform and a conservative voice of the Church. He was a key leader in the efforts to address the child abuse scandal, and advised Pope John Paul II to create the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith to investigate and prevent such events from occurring again.
He has focused much of his papacy to reaching out to countries that are becoming secularized, particularly addressing rises in moral deteriorations such as abortion, contraceptive use and homosexual marriage. Also, Pope Benedict spent valuable time meeting and reaching out to leaders of other faiths, including praying with Muslim leaders.
The past eight years Pope Benedict XVI has brought the Catholic Church closer to its traditional roots, making him an admirable and beloved leader amongst the more than 1 billion members of the Catholic Church.
As the president and vice president of the Shenandoah University Catholic Campus Ministry, we will be saddened to see him resign, but are filled with faith and hope that this is all part of God’s plan for the future.