In the past 48 hours I have been watching several news shows in which I have seen desperate newsmen and newswomen trying to figure out a meaningful explanation to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation.
On Tuesday morning I saw Christiane Amanpour talking to a former Ambassador to the Vatican, a man “who met the pope” (and who eventually became a pope’s friend on CNN home page) -
The former diplomat could not help enough Amanpour with a straight explanation but he said he was not surprised by the Pope’s resignation. Sometimes it’s really hard to consider CNN still a news network because for both reporters and guests, ego always comes first.
In the story of a Pope who resigns there’s no space for personal ego, but only for meditation and prayer. In such an historical event as Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation there's really nothing to be taken for granted and for many it can be difficult to cope with such an out-of-the-blue decision. Even New York Archibishop Cardinal Dolan, said Pope Benedict’s decision was an unpredictable event.
However we understand many people, both Catholics and non-Catholics, have an inner need of figuring out what's the very reason of such a sudden decision. More than any other Nation in the world, America needs an explanation, I mean you cannot resign from the highest office in the Vatican and get away with it….
Paola Olivelli is a Law Professor at the Università di Macerata, Italy. She is also an historical figure within the movement of Comunione e Liberazione (Communion and Liberation) or CL, an Ecclesial movement that flourished in Italy in the mid fifties thanks to Don Luigi Giussani, an Italian Catholic priest who introduced a new way of teaching by switching “back to the basics” of the Christian Doctrine. A longtime friend of Don Giussani, then-Cardinal Ratzinger personally celebrated the funeral Mass of Don Giussani and according to Vatican reporter John Allen, during this time Ratzinger told a priest of CL that Giussani "changed my life"
According to Prof. Olivelli, “Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was an act of courage and an extreme act of fatherhood combined”. “Pope Benedict was absolutely conscious and aware of his weakness and the strength that the role demanded him and decided for the best of the Church, even if it meant to resign from his office” “His action showed a perfect coherence with the man and the spiritual philosophy he brought on during his whole life". "His love for the church, his love for liberty and again that there’s no conflict between faith and reason whatsoever as he’s been affirming it since ever”
In practice the choice taken by Pope Benedict XVI is absolutely coherent with his spiritual vision of the church’s life and destiny, because the Pope thinks the Church’s road ahead can be covered only if its guide is strong enough to take care of such an important duty.
Pope Benedict XVI felt his physical conditions would not allow himself to accomplish his mission in the way required by the Church and by Jesus Christ which is the only guide, the only way and the only destiny of the Catholic Church.
Prof. Olivelli absolutely thinks we all should be grateful to Pope Benedict XVI not only for the work he’s done and the enormous contribution he’s given to the Church and to the world but also for recognizing the fact the Catholic Church needs a new guide to pursue its goals and its destiny and ultimately we have to thank Pope Benedict for handing over the church’s destiny into the hands of God.