Pope retires, and other items
We don’t post a lot of Catholic hierarchy news here, but this is outside the norm.
A profoundly conservative figure whose papacy was overshadowed by sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, the pope, 85, said that after examining his conscience “before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise” of his position as head of the world’s Roman Catholics.
I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.
As someone who grew up under the leadership of John Paul II, Pope Benedict’s papacy will always be a mediocre one to me, lacking JPII’s charisma and vision, and marked by his failure to respond to the child sex abuse crisis with anything commensurate to the enormity of that crime.
More reactions via Andrew Sullivan.
Catholic Worker news
Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, is up for sainthood. This has catalyzed an effort among many Catholic Workers to define who she was as clearly as possible, for the benefit of the public at large.
Here’s another thoughtful article along those lines, from the Houston Catholic Worker community: What the New York Times Did Not Say About the Sainthood of Dorothy Day
After she became a Catholic, Dorothy’s whole life was permeated by her Catholic faith. All that she said and did was an expression of that faith. The New York Times said a lot about Dorothy Day, but a reader could easily have missed the profundity of her faith. For example, the article quoted “some Catholics” as saying that “promoting Day’s sainthood cause is politically useful for Dolan and other bishops, at a time when the hierarchy is often described by liberal Catholics as caring more about reproductive issues than poverty.” They neglected to mention the possibility that Cardinal Dolan might be working on the cause for her canonization for his eternal salvation.
Note that there are plenty of parishes in this country, including some right here in Worcester, where Dorothy’s name is sometimes included in the litany of saints already.
Here’s a nice video from PBS on the movement, including action video from St. Joseph’s House in New York City, the community that introduced me to the Catholic Worker.
Worcester park news
Here’s a video interviewing some of the people behind the creation of the Winslow Street park.