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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Benedict and the Conclave

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Pope Benedict gives his last public Angelus Feb. 24. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Pope Benedict gives his last public Angelus Feb. 24. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Normally I do not weigh in on world events and the ebb and flow of revolving orbits. Since the “abdication” of Pope Benedict XVI I have felt a gnawing need to stand up for Pope Benedict in particular, and for the Roman Catholic Church in general (although I am a sinner, it is my Church, and I am a proud member).

There has been a myriad of rumors and speculation as to why Benedict would resign and retire breaking precedent with the long tradition of Popes leaving the Pontificate only when they are fully laid to rest.

The Italian press has made some outlandish claims regarding Benedict’s motives, that would rival a Dan Brown novel. This tabloid journalism has spilled over into the American and Western Press. Although, we can chalk this up as sensational drivel, unworthy of serious consideration, it speaks to a far deeper divide. Not only does it betray a bias and shallow understanding of the Papacy, it shows that the modern media is “reporting” and making commentary on an area of which they have little or no knowledge, but a group of people that generally holds organized religion in disdain.  Since the Enlightenment, the forces of Secular Humanism have increasingly monopolized the major media outlets in the free world.

We moderns, in our pseudo sophistication tend to look at the Papacy as tired outdated institution. The Pope is a quaint old man, but he has little relevance to our problems, challenges,
and our way of life. After all, how many enlightened and educated people really listen to the droning of a decrepit 85 year old man in Rome?

Instead, the Secularists will directly and indirectly prop up so called “experts” to give their commentary on what the Pope should do to be hip, mainstream, relevant, and catch
up with the “Enlightenment”, bending and changing Church teaching and the Commandments to suit our lifestyles.

In his last public appearance on Sunday February 24th at the Vatican, Benedict XVI announced to over 100,000 pilgrims that, “God had called him to even more prayer and meditation, but this does not mean abandoning the Church. On the contrary, if God asks me, this is because I can continue to serve it with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and strength”.

Apparently Benedict has been considering making this step down for some time. Recently, he has had trouble just walking across the room. He recognizes that in this “speed of light” world of communications, the management of 1.2 billion Catholics world wide in more suited to a man of younger age. For any other occupation, we would obviously see the wisdom in his decision.

Pope Benedict is a man who has given his entire life to the Church. As a philosopher, theologian, historian, linguist and liturgist, for over 70 years he has embraced the religious life. He is as constant and steady as the northern star. He has been a titan of reasoned loving stability in a chaotic world. Our world often does not hear or recognize the prophet in its midst.

Although there may be exceptions, the mainstream reporting and Anti Catholic bias will carry into the Conclave itself. For those who are really interested in a truthful and measured reporting on the Sacred Conclave to elect our next Holy Father, EWTN Television or radio would be an infinitely better source for accurate information. You might even try an exercise of switching back and forth to witness yourself the great divide.

History will be made in the next three weeks or so. Let us at least make an attempt to give this great event its proper due.

The Papacy was established by Jesus Christ Himself, “the Rock upon which I will build my Church, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it”. Conquerors and Empires have come and gone. Nations, wars, revolutions, and so goes the way of the world. Christ’s promise will live on, that “I will be with you, even until the end of the world”.

Bill McCarthy
Gallup, NM

Do you want to weigh in on a topic concerning Catholic life in the Gallup Diocese? Write us!  The Voice reserves the right to edit for clarity and length. Opinions expressed and published are solely the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of the editor.


  1. Bravo, Mr. McCarthy, bravo! If anyone doubts the incredible intelligence, the immense wisdom, the insight, or the humble greatness of this man; all they would have to do is read any of the many books, encyclicals, or articles Pope Benedict has written and they would quickly come to understand that we have had perhaps one of the most God-like popes in modern times. Pope Benedict is indeed a great man and remarkable Shepherd. We should all pray that the Conclave cooperate with the Grace of the Holy Spirit and elect a successor we need (and not one we deserve). Hopefully this Conclave will choose as the next Bishop of Rome, a man who loves Our Holy Mother The Church as much as Pope Benedict does.


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