This morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication from the Papacy. I'm sure that this will be a happy day for many liberal Catholics, as well as many who like to attack the Catholic Church and what they think it represents. On the other hand, it is a sad day for many Catholic's of a more conservative nature, like myself, because of the uncertainty of the direction the conclave will take.
I don't think there were any surprises with Benedict XVI's pontificate. As Cardinal Ratzinger and Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith, Benedict XVI was already quite well known for his traditional views of Churhc doctrine - views that many seem to have forgotten that were also held by the grandfatherly Blessed John Paul II. When I think of those who criticized Benedict XVI for his teachings on Life, Marriage and the Ordination of women, I think of something Toronto Archbishop Cardinal Collins once said: "Perhaps the majority of Catholics have some difficulty accepting the teaching of Church on some issues - that doesn't make them right."
From the time of Christ, the Catholic Church has always been, and probably always will be, counter-cultural. We need to give a prayer of thanksgiving for men such as Benedict XVI who are strong enough and wise enough to continually point towards the Truth of divine revelation.
Please join me, dear Theophilus, in praying that the conclave to choose the next successor to St. Peter will allow itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do God's will here on earth.