Sunday, February 17, 2013

Catholics React to Pope Benedict's Resignation

From Peggy Noonan, at the Wall Street Journal, "A Faith Unshaken but Unsettled":

It is disquieting, the resignation of the pope. "We are in uncharted territory," said a historian of the church. An old pope is leaving but staying within the walls of the Vatican, and a new one, younger and less known, will come before Easter.

In a week's conversation with faithful and believing Catholics, I detected something I've never quite heard before, and that is a deep, unshaken, even cheerful faith accompanied by a certain anxiety, even foreboding. I heard acceptance of Pope Benedict's decision coupled with an intense sympathy for what is broadly understood to be his suffering, from health problems to the necessity that his decision was a lonely one, its deepest reasoning known only to him. There was a lot of speculation that attempting to run the Vatican in the new age of technology, of leaks and indiscretions and instant responses, would have been hard on him.

So here are some things Catholics have been telling me...