Pope Benedict Makes a Brave and Noble Decision
When I think about the Holy Father's rapid frailty and his recent decision to elect a number of new Cardinals (who will choose his successor), the surprise of today's news is starting to wear off.
The primary role of the Pope is to spread the faith and the love of Jesus Christ as far and as wide as possible. If Benedict's health inhibits this mission, it seems appropriate for him to step down. I appreciate Larry O'Connor's concerns about the dignity of life, but that's a secondary consideration.
What's best for the Church (and therefore the world) is a vital and engaged Church. There's no reason that through his writing, Benedict can't still have a vital and dignified voice while handing over the difficult and exhausting work of being Pope to a younger man.
I also admire those who selflessly give up power. This is a wonderfully Christian example for Benedict to set, and what might be remembered as his legacy in the same way we think of George Washington.