Seven Times Seven

Earlier today, the Pope just announced his resignation from the papacy due to advanced age. As a Roman Catholic with a liberal but devoted upbringing, this is a significant matter. I reached my 27th year in this world as witness to two papacies. I was raised as a Catholic and practiced as one, though admittedly I have my faults and failures. In all things being said and done, as a Christian/ Catholic or not, I’ve always had to think twice about significant matters before I say them or act upon them. This is not just to appear smart, although yes it makes you smart, but to have sensitivity and compassion.

When the news broke out earlier, an acquaintance, another ”devout” Catholic, who heard the news asked why the pope was resigning. She was answered that it was because of his age and answered back ”Mababaw. That’s all?” and added something that sounded like the reason was so superficial. I have great respect for this acquaintance and tonight it just went few bars lower. I may not know what the Pope is thinking at this very moment but such grave decision that would concern seven billion Catholics in the world was not made rashly. I do believe that it was a wise, compelling, and unselfish move. The last pope who resigned was from the 13th century and Pope Benedict XVI was a die hard traditionalist. Continuity is a very important and traditional trait. To vacate the seat would have been unthinkable. However, when he deemed that he would be unable to serve the Church in his fully capacity because of his failing health, it only seemed right that a stronger and healthier person take the staff. It was a decision made not for himself but for the whole Church. When I feel I am incapable of doing something, because of a force I could not control, that would involve the welfare of many, I would willingly give it to others who I know could do more and do better than I do. It is not a matter of being ”mababaw” or being just old, it’s about compassion. Caring for others may be giving the place of a leader to someone who could care for them better. Why push yourself with something you could not really stand up for, mentally and health wise speaking? I see it plainly as an act of unselfishness and love.

My respect for her still remains. However, I do hope that she sees more than what she hears.


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