Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Pope Speaks: Why Catholics Leave and Why He's Sticking Around

You hear a lot about people leaving the Church these days. In his interviews with Peter Seewald, Pope Benedict XVI addressed this unfortunate issue:

Seewald: is difficult for many people these days to stand by the Church. Can you understand why people respond by leaving it in protest?

Pope Benedict XVI: I can understand it. I am thinking of course above all about the victims [of abuse] themselves. That it is difficult for them to keep believing that the Church is a source of good, that she communicates the light of Christ, that she helps people in life---I can understand that. And others, who have only these negative perceptions, no longer see then the overall picture, the life of the Church. All the more reason that the Church must strive to make this vitality and greatness visible again, despite all that is negative. 

Fortunately, the Pope has no plans to leave his own station as Holy Father anytime soon. Rumors of resignation continue to surface, but Pope Benedict confirmed at his birthday Mass that he doesn't plan to resign, echoing what he told Seewald back in 2010:

Seewald: The great majority of these [abuse] cases took place decades ago. Nevertheless they burden your pontificate now in particular. Have you thought of resigning?

Pope Benedict XVI: When the danger is great one must not run away. For that reason, now is certainly not the time to resign. Precisely at a time like this one must stand fast and endure the difficult situation. That is my view. One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on. But one must not run away from danger and say that someone else should do it.

We thank God especially this week for our courageous Pope, and pray for his continued strength and guidance.

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