Unnecessary Backlash: A Response to the Retirement of the Holy Father


On 11 FEBRUARY 2013, it was announced that the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI will be retiring on 28 FEBRUARY 2013. There have been a multitude of reactions. Many are shocked by the suddenness of it all. Others are worried about the state of the Roman Catholic Church, and others, like comedian Bill Maher, “just don’t care.” Although many atheists like Maher claim that they don’t care, they are using this as a means of attacking and degrading not only the Roman Catholic Church, but religion as a whole. Maher spend the final segment of his show belittling the position of the Papacy, as well as the church as a whole. As usual, his comments and supposed “facts” were simplistic and childish, but stated with such fervor, that many believe it.

Although I am not Roman Catholic (I’m a proud Anglican), I do have respect for the Holy Father, and more importantly, the seat in which he sits. It’s the same reverence I have for the Ecumenical Patriarch, and of course, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Do I see the Holy Father stepping down as a bad thing? No, not in the slightest. The media is making it out to be more than it is. Mind you, the same “experts” who are questioning the retirement of the Pope, are also the same ones who said he was “too old” when he was elected in 2005.

I think this is a redefining moment for the Roman Catholic Church. A moment that can lead to a resurgence of Catholics returning back to the church. It can redefine the church like the II Vatican Council did in 1962. Rather than speculate the “back story”, we should be prayerful for our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, as they enter into a transition in their church.

– JMH+

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