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English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition
English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Vatican announced on Monday, February 11th that Pope Benedict XVI will retire as of February 28, 2013. The 85 year old Pope’s decision to step down was a shock to 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and the entire world.  Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, called the Pope’s decision to resign “decision of great courage” and said the announcement had “shocked and surprised everyone.”

In this day and age, we see more and more people over the age of 65 continuing to contribute in a significant way to society.  Pope Benedict is a great example of one using his talents regardless of age.

Pope Benedict XVI showed grace and courage by assessing his personal situation and making a decision he felt was best for the Roman Catholic Church.  One can’t imagine the responsibilities that he has held since becoming Pope in 2005.  “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 an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pontiff’s statement said.

Pope Benedict XVI has taught us a valuable lesson. We need to make conscious decisions to act in a manner that will serve the best interests of all involved, just as this Pope has done for the Roman Catholic Church.

Sentiments from a Proud Roman Catholic 

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