As soon as Pope Benedict announced his resignation almost a week ago, pundits everywhere started speculating what the “real reason” was behind the Pope’s decision. In a way, this made sense. In a world that values power and influence so highly, it made no sense for someone in the Pope’s position to willingly step down. An ulterior motive or unseen force influencing the Pope’s retirement seemed quite plausible, even likely.
We’re all of the world, and to some extent we are all probably tempted to think this way. Luckily, we have people like Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles to give us a clearer perspective on things – a cleaner, simpler, more honest look that takes into account those “other-wordly” realities that the world often misses.
In a short, profound, and personal statement, Archbishop Gomez reminds us in a simple and direct way why the Pope’s decision not only makes sense, but reflects Benedict’s personal sanctity as well:
Pope Benedict XVI has truly been a Holy Father to the family of God, his Catholic Church. His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the Church. This is the act of a saint, who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God’s people.
I have great affection for this Pope. In my opinion, he is one of the wisest persons in our world today. I try to learn every day from his words and example. I received my Archbishop’s pallium twice from him and I will always be grateful that he chose me to be the Archbishop of Los Angeles.
Let us thank God today for the love and witness of Pope Benedict XVI. Let us entrust him to our Blessed Mother Mary and pray that he will continue to have joy and peace and many more years for prayer and reflection.
Humility, gift of self, following the will of God…certainly not things the world values much. But they are things we can all be reminded of, and often.
Thank you Pope Benedict, and thank you Archbishop Gomez.