HAVANA TIMES — Yesterday, the news that surprised everyone and triggered varying reactions and statements of opinion was the resignation in the Vatican of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. This is because it’s only the second time since the Middle Ages that an abdication from the papacy has occurred.
Catholic parishioners have spoken out, some of them lamenting the fact and emphasizing the values ??of the church leader, especially his academic aspect. Others of the opposing opinion think it was the best move because the church needs a new air and younger figures. They also point out that Ratzinger didn’t have the charisma of his predecessor, John Paul II.
What’s certain is that the Supreme Pontiff was selected to be the head of both the Vatican and the Catholic Church in a very turbulent period that characterize these times.
Catholicism, the most widespread Christian exegesis, has lost favor in recent years and faces a credibility crisis in the face of the boom made by its closely related ??versions of Protestantism, not to mention the significant number of people turning to Eastern religions.
Moreover, its general ecclesiastical governmental councils and prelates have fared very poorly in the face of costly corruption scandals involving priests, demonstrated in the thousands of accusations of pedophilia and the lewd abuse of children.
The paths to modernity are inconsistent with the dogmatic canons and outdated precepts maintained by the Catholic Church. It has become an institution that has more value as a museum piece, especially for the younger generations.
Although Pope Benedict XVI tried to make changes and open views a little, these were not enough as he was confronting a society developing at a dizzying pace.
Nevertheless, he spoke publicly about his opposition to genetic manipulation, environmental pollution, the consumption and trafficking of drugs, and for ending of poverty, and the need for social justice.
Just recently he talked about the importance of using condoms to prevent the transmission of diseases. He was also mulling over ideas about women priests, the marriage of priests, and other topics quite progressive by Orthodox Catholic standards.
Benedict XVI is an elderly man who is aware that the challenges before him are beyond his strength, independent of his will to face them. I think he’s aware of this, and in using all his faculties he preferred to make way for another leader to take up the work of the Catholic Church, to put it in tune with the challenges of today’s world.
From my point of view, this was a wise and sensible decision in these times when all conservative and sectarian structures, institutions and ideologies are facing their greatest crises. His decision should be an example for many politicians to follow.