Catholic students react to resignation announcement of Pope
Two days before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent for Catholics and other Christian denominations, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy. The news of his nearing departure came as a shock to Catholic students.
“It was kind of a surprise because nothing like this has happened in our lifetime,” sophomore Sydney Mulholland said. “It will be interesting to see where the future of our church is heading with a new pope.”
The last pontiff to abdicate the papacy was Gregory XII, who signed off in 1415 during the Great Western Schism when Gregory XII forsook his reign during troubled times to restore a monomial papacy. Benedict XVI claimed modern reasoning. He stated in his formal address that his age and limited strength prevent him from fully performing the papal duties that face him. According to Catholic Online, the pope must be “in good health, physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Jefferson City Diocese Bishop John R. Gaydos issued a press release asking Catholics to keep a positive outlook as the Church changes leaders.
“I am grateful that our Holy Father has come to this prayerful decision,” Bishop Gaydos said in a press release, “and ask all of our local and all people of good will to join together in praying to God for the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit during this time of transition for the Catholic Church throughout the world.”
Mulholland said his resignation will leave a hole for teenage Catholics, especially.
“The Pope is like a modern day leader,” Mulholland said. “He sets an example for Catholics everywhere.”
Exactly two months ago, the Holy See created a Twitter and sent out his first tweet, which welcomed his followers and thanked them for their support, on Dec. 12, 2012, according to New York Daily News.
Many teens saw this step into social networking as his way of reaching out to their generation.
“My first thought was, ‘What’s gonna happen to his twitter account?’” senior Sarah Hudson said.
Pope Benedict XVI’s twitter profile boasts of 1,539,287 followers and 34 tweets promoting the world of God. Ranked as the fifth most powerful man in the world by Forbes Magazine, the Pope holds sway over 68,503,465 citizens in the United States.
According to newadvent.org, the Pope mandates the faith and morals to which the entire church adheres. His doctrines are passed down to administrative regions called dioceses, and from there, Bishops integrate the Pope’s mandates into the practices of both priests and parishioners.
Interregnum, the time that elapses between the reign of one pope and another, will commence Feb. 28. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI begins a period of change in the Catholic church and in the lives of parishioners around the world.
By Emily Franke
What religious leaders do you follow on Twitter?
Emily Franke, an adolescent prodigy, holds a broad spectrum of talents. When she's not acing her AP tests, she's a flutist in the prestigious Rock Bridge Marching Band, or perhaps playing a rough game of lacrosse. Also, she is a rescuer of the black kittens Bon Qui Qui and Shaniqua which she cares for like a good mama cat would do. She bakes like nobody's business, putting any iron chef to shame. Her incredible writing on Bearing News fascinates the world. Keep an eye on this one, folks.
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