This is going to be short. The paper this morning says that Ratzinger will resign the papacy this Lent.
“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 the demands of being the pope, he told the cardinals.
“In order to govern the bark (ship) 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,” he said.
It is time for us all to pray. For our Catholic friends, and for God’s will. There is pressure — as usual the press are saying the next pope must not be conservative, or meet the demands of the day. But the first job of all Church leaders is to hold the faith.
1Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, 3how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.
5Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6But someone has testified somewhere, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? 7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, 8 subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
I’m reformed. The sectarian conflict between the Reformed (Presbyterians) and the Romans has been violent. IT still exists in a fossilized form in football loyalties. But we all need to fall to our knees.
- We need to proclaim that God leaves nothing outside his control, and that his spirit will lead our Catholic friends to the correct man to lead them.
- We need to pray that that spirit is allowed to work freely.
- We need to thank God for the work of Ratzinger. He may have been German and a Papist, but he defended the gospel. And that is worthy of praise.
- And we need to stand in unity of prayer here. Not because we are under the magisterium — but because those on the other side of the Tiber are. An evil man in charge of the Roman church can do great damage.
Lord, we thank you for the service of our Brother Benedict. We ask that you intervene, and that the man who picks up the burden of leading our Roman friends will be guided by your spirit and walk in your ways, holding fast to the gospel in which our faith is founded. Amen.