By Deal Hudson
The resignation of Benedict XVI after nearly eight years as the
spiritual leader of the world’s billion plus Catholics ends an era of reform and restoration in the Church that began in November 1978 with the election of John Paul II. That Benedict XVI allowed retired Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, a powerful broker of the liberalization following Vatican II, to be stripped of all his archdiocesan duties is symbolic of the changes brought about in the last 35 years under John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
The cardinals at the upcoming conclave will be faced with the choice of whether to continue the direction marked out by the last two pontiffs. Catholics will pray in gratitude for the leadership of Benedict XVI and for God’s guidance to those who will gather at St. Peter’s to send up the ‘white smoke’ announcing their choice.
[Deal W. Hudson is President of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network. His comments are reprinted with permission.]