Cardinal Arinze on the Pope’s abdication

Thank you, Eminence.

If only we could hear his words in the secular media, and not the ill-informed wind from such as the BBC.



6 thoughts on “Cardinal Arinze on the Pope’s abdication

    1. Well, he is fit and strong by all appearances. But given that Benedict’s election his age of 78 was considered startlingly old at the time, Arinze’s 80 years seem to rule him out.

      I wonder if Benedict’s actions will establish a precedent that allows popes to escape the job if they feel they can no longer perform the role properly. If so, the cardinals might prefer electing younger men, knowing that should they begin to fail they can abdicate and so remove the fear of a long papal dotage and the curial shenanigans that would follow. What they will not want is to come back in a couple of years to do the whole thing again! Frequent conclaves can be destabilising, as well as expensive.



  1. Card Arinze is sound and sensible. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that the description of the feelings that many ordinary Catholics have towards the Pope somewhat dismissive?

    I know he didn’t mean it to come across that way, but to characterise many of our feelings towards the Pope, and towards this Pope in particular as mere ‘sentiment’ is wrong. It’s more than that. Catholics love the Pope. This is no sentiment. This is an expression of fidelity and love at its deepest level. Even the secular media are well aware of many ordinary Catholic’s feelings for the Pope as a father or grandfather. That same love which we have for our family is manifested towards Christ’s Vicar on earth, which itself is but a mere mirroring of the infinitely greater love that Christ has for his Church and for his Pope.

    For us, it is not simply a matter of canon law, or a juridicial procedure. It is a matter of an engagement of the mind, the soul, the heart. Heart speaks unto heart.

    This is even more the case when the Pope has a very obvious sanctity about him. Benedict XVI (still for the time being our Holy Father) is not just a sentimental symbol for us Catholics, nor even is he just an office holder (inspired though that Office may be!). He is for is pater familias, a man whom we love and admire dearly.

    As for me, there is no other person alive today, who I have more respect and admiration for.

    There will be a new Pope, and I will join in with the rest singing Ad multos annos to him.

    But for me (and I suspect others too), Benedict will always be in my heart and in my prayers. I have a Pope. I’d like to keep him please.

    Esta es la juventud del Papa.


    1. Amen to all you have written. I can disagree with none of it.

      At present I am at the stage of seeking silver linings to this dark cloud. One must be that a man of Benedict’s intellect, orthodoxy, wisdom and spiritual soundness will have made this decision very carefully, and with great courage. Also, his continuing presence on earth will have an encouraging effect on the new pope, and maybe even embolden him to continue the path Benedict has led us on.

      By the way, for me he will forever be Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger is not adequate any more to name him. So let us refer to him, living and when dead, always as Benedict XVI.

      I would like to keep him too…



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