We’ll Miss you Pappa B

To say that I was surprised this morning to find out that the Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation would be an understatement.  Without being too cliché, I really feel like it was just yesterday that I was eating eggs benedict at my friend’s house to celebrate the election of our new Pope.

This is surprising not only because Pappa B has only been in office just under 8 years, but because the last time a pope resigned was over 600 years ago.

Pope Benedict XVI stated that he was stepping down because waning strengths due to advanced age and that as of February 28th at 8:00pm the See of St. Peter will be vacant. Not only Catholics, but pro-lifers the world around are saddened to hear this news.

Throughout his papacy Pope Benedict XVI has been known for his strong pastoral teachings regarding the defense and celebration of every human being. At a meeting with the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2011 he said very simply that abortion, “does not solve anything” but rather only produces further hardships on mothers and families. Instead of resorting to, “killing the child, destroying the mother, blinding the conscience of the father and devastating family life,” the Pope encouraged the Christian Church to work toward providing the resources necessary for mothers and fathers to make good and holy decisions for themselves and their families.

This message of stalwart rejection of evil coupled with a profound duty of love and compassion has been a hallmark of Pope Benedict XVI. In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est or God Is Love, the Pope speaks at length about the beauty of properly ordered human sexuality and calls attention to the profound expression of love manifest in charitable works.

While Pappa B agreed that working to achieve social justice is indeed a responsibility of the faithful, the role of the Church is primarily and necessarily directed toward charity. In Deus Caritas Est the Pope reminds us that, “Practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ.”

As we struggle to seek justice for the innocent lives being attacked through abortion and the families being assailed by contraception, let us remember that no changes in law nor amount of protest will free us from the evils perpetrated against human life and human sexuality if we do not share our love and therefore the Love of Christ with the world.

If we truly wish to abolish abortion, then we must not simply rebuke sinners, but rather also provide compassionate care for families. Let us not be deceived into thinking that those in need, “do not need charity but justice” as some social reformers would like us to believe, but rather understand that charity is indeed the source of justice.

In thanksgiving for the loving guidance God has blessed his people with through Pope Benedict XVI let us enter into a renewed passion for service in the pro-life movement so that God will achieve justice through the charity which burns in our hearts.


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