Benedict resignation transforms church tradition

Benedict resignation transforms church tradition

Theologian George Weigel called the pope’s resignation a “great act of humility and self-abnegation” that looks to improving the future of the church under a new, vigorous pope.

VATICAN CITY — The act of resigning will be one of the most enduring legacies of Pope Benedict XVI.

As the first pope in 600 years to step down, Benedict shocked the world Monday. Yet in so doing, the conservative pope made a progressive statement that the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics must be energetic enough to engage forcefully in the moral battles of the modern world, theologians and Vatican watchers say.

It was “the most modernizing decision Pope Benedict has taken,” said Michael Sean Winters, a National Catholic Reporter columnist. “In a single moment, the pope has removed some of the aura of the papacy.”

Theologian George Weigel called the pope’s resignation a “great act of humility and self-abnegation” that looks to improving the future of the church under a new, vigorous pope. “He wants the church to be well served,” as it faces immense demands, he said.

 

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