By Randy David
Much has been written about the broad differences that separate Pope Francis from Pope Benedict XVI, and the comparison tends to be at the latter’s expense. This must be personally disconcerting for Francis. For, indeed, he has said many times that he frequently consults with his predecessor. But, perhaps more than this, it is hard to find anything that Francis has said or written so far that can be taken as contradicting Benedict’s thinking. Apart from the obvious differences in personal style, the one thing, in my view, that distinguishes the present pope from his predecessor is perspective—and this is most evident in the distinct vocabularies they use.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
There is so much being written about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The most basic question asked is whether a pope may resign. There is now no dispute about the legal possibility of a resignation. Canon Law is very clear: “If it should happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required that he make his resignation freely, and that it be duly manifested, but not that it be accepted by anyone.”
At around midnight, Manila time, Pope Benedict XVI will leave the Vatican grounds by helicopter; about three hours after that, he will become the first pontiff to resign the papacy in six centuries, and the seat of St. Peter will be declared vacant. Who will be chosen to take that seat will help determine whether the challenges that currently confront the Catholic Church will be met with clarity and resolve, or will continue to undermine the rock on which the Catholic faith rests.
By Randy David
“Habemus Papam” (We have a Pope)—these are the words the cardinal deacon uses to announce the election of a new pope to the expectant crowd at St. Peter’s Square. It is also the title of an Italian movie shown in 2011, which tells the story of a fictional conclave of cardinals convened to elect a new pope. In the film, the assembled cardinals repeatedly fail to produce a clear choice. As the ballots are read, some of them are heard mumbling: “Please, Lord, not me.”
By Samuel J. Yap
The decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign effective Feb. 28, 2013, has literally shaken the world. It is the first such resignation since Pope Gregory XII’s in 1415. And it is remarkable that for the first time a Filipino cardinal, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, is being considered a viable candidate for pope and could in fact be the next pope. This brings to focus the state of the Church in our country.