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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
I must be growing old..and becoming a legend. I have seen several Popes come and go (and of recent wait for this) I have witnessed a Pope resign from service! It sure is an absolute rarity -and this has happened in my life time! Wasn’t it just the other day that the white smoke was puffed out of the Vatican chimneys to announce the installation of a new “man of God” with the zeal and enthusiasm of a spring chicken and the agility of a rabbit to absolve helpless sinners of their iniquities, venerate saints and springboard helpless souls from purgatory? Wasn’t it just a wink ago that Pope Benedict XVI made his first tour of the world to declare his commitment? And just before any one can say ‘Smith Wigglesworth’ guess what he has declared:
In a decision that has surprised even his closest aides, the 85-year-old Pontiff said his strength was ‘no longer adequate to continue in office due to his advanced age’.
He announced his resignation in Latin to a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning, saying he did not have the ‘strength of mind and body’ to continue leading more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide.
The decision is unprecedented. He is the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and no Pontiff in history has stepped down on health grounds.
The move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a Pontiff does not have to be observed.
‘Deteriorating health’? Surely when a man can still walk unsupported, ride in a Popemobile while waving two hands and still be able to spell ‘filioque’ and writes out such a tactful resignation letter in Latin (which is not even his mother tongue) and there after reads it fluently without even stammering or mumbling or even asking for a drink of water then it wont be long that conspiracy theorists will start wagging their tongues suggesting that some body ‘jumped before he was pushed’. Questions will be asked as to whether there is a cover up going on. See how one thing leads to another? But what if he’s right and it’s time for a change?
Change indeed!! Well, I think a change will be good if it is for the better. So, what do I offer? (Ahem!) Absolutely nothing different from what the next Christian in the pew as a matter of fact. Yet herein I ask that if you indeed need another Pope I hereby lay my manifesto. As a mere sinner saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, I will uphold faith alone in Him alone. I will bring back to the Roman Catholic Church the doctrine of Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone and by Scripture alone to the glory of God alone! No more infallibility of the Pope nor the Papacy. The head of the Church will be Christ alone – as it ought to be and the final authority in faith and practice will be Scripture alone! (At this point comes that awkward silence)
On second thoughts (has Benedict realized something) – who needs a Pope when you are trusting in Christ alone? 😉