Never thought I’d be writing this. It’s way different from what I normally write about. But I think it’s good to mix it up now and again. Today, I will write about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. That’s right. A normally political and sports blog will be taking on a scared topic: Religion. I think that Benedict is making the best decision by stepping down from power. He is 85-years-old and has served his Church for decades in some way shape or form and has been Pope for the better part of a decade. Pope Benedict took office about 8 years ago when Pope John Paul II passed away. He came in with impossible expectations. Pope John Paul II was extremely popular with Catholics and non-Catholics, and even non-Christians. There is a reason behind the movement of turning Pope John Paul II into a Saint. I do not believe that Pope Benedict will go down in history the same way that John Paul II did.
But yesterday, Pope Benedict announced that he would be retiring at the end of the month due to ailing health. This is a huge deal. A Pope has not stepped down from the pulpit in almost 600 years, since Pope Gregory did it during the midst of the Middle Ages. This is huge. This will never again happen in our lives. I remember exactly where I was when I found out that Pope John Paul II died. I was at home. It was a Saturday, a cloudy day. And I turned out CNN. And there it was. Thousands of Catholics waiting outside, heartbroken. I am not Catholic but I remember it having a profound effect on me. Over the next few years, Pope Benedict began his rule, and I remember never being crazy about him. He never seemed to do much. The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly shock. People don’t know how to react to his because it hasn’t happened for centuries. The Catholic Church has had many criticisms over the past several years, in large part due to the sex scandal involving the priests and young children. I too think that the Catholic Church’s has a lot to answer to and it will take years to fix the damage. But the few are not the majority. I am glad to say that last summer I did go to my first Catholic Mass after months of putting it off and putting it off. And I had a great experience. As I close this post I would like to again say that I think that Pope Benedict is making the right decision. If a man is willing to put his Church and his followers before himself, which I think is what Pope Benedict is doing, then he is doing the right thing. So, I say this to Pope Benedict: Thank you for your service and God bless you and your family.