With uncanny timing, this week has brought together the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Ash Wednesday kickoff to the Lenten season, and the annual hijacking of St. Valentine’s Day. How wonderful for unmarried Catholics, who now have ample excuse to be somber and reflective! Not that all of us require one.
Yet a common thread of a different color can be also seen, and that would be love in its many forms.
For outsiders, the bond between Catholics and the Pope isn’t quite understood I suspect. After all, no one can deny the charisma of Pope John Paul II, who some pundits foolishly trivialize as a “celebrity pope.” But Pope Benedict is more known for his intellect. So why have some Catholics felt a sense of loss, upset or even guilt over his retirement?
In truth, such a reaction isn’t necessarily unique to any particular pope and even reporters are not immune. A CNN article published Wednesday describes how an elder journalist recently responded to a question of how he felt about the death of Pope John Paul I: “He shot me a horrified look, as if I had asked how he had felt after a family tragedy. ‘How do you think I felt?’ he shot back. ‘It was absolutely heartbreaking!’”...