February 28, Pope Benedict XVI will step down from office for health reasons. At age 85, he is the 6th oldest of the popes in history, with the oldest having been 93.
The Vatican stated that Benedict’s resignation means that the Papacy will remain vacant pending the naming of his successor. The Pope will continue to lead the Catholic World till that time.
There are an estimated 1 billion Catholics, many of whom no doubt will be saddened by the news.
Pope Benedict XVI served the church for nearly 8 years as its spiritual leader. However, his influence to the top of the Catholic church has been for decades and decades. He followed Pope John Paul II, in 2005, to whom he had served for a long time as Cardinal.
This news is too fresh in my mind to really think through what it means and the implications. It is however too significant an event to not report on this spiritual blog.
I feel though that a universal prayer for his well-being and his service to God is warranted. As we are all nominations here at this blog, please find your own words to express gratitude for work by our spiritual leaders, guides and beacons.
Message of Pope Benedict XVI
What not everybody knows, perhaps, is that Pope Benedict XVI has written several books on spirituality and his faith. In lots of way, much like the Dalai Lama. Here are some of his books:
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration