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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Benedict Of Nursia
Pope Francis has traveled to Castel Gandolfo to have lunch with his predecessor Benedict XVI in a historic and potentially problematic melding of the papacies that has never before confronted the Catholic Church.
Several names have come up repeatedly as strong contenders to be the next pope.
Despite lacking the public charisma of his predecessor, Pope Benedict in just eight years was able to carve out his own legacy, in significant part by continuing John Paul's work in different ways.
When Jesus established the papacy, the gospels report that he told St. Peter: "Amen I say to you: You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." These words are emblazoned in Latin across the front of St. Peter's Basilica.
Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St. Peter's Square, explaining that his waning years and energy made him better suited to the life of private prayer he soon will spend in a secluded monastery than as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI's sudden decision to step down Feb. 28 because of health concerns reverberated around the globe. The eyes of the world surely will be focused on the impending meeting of the conclave and the election of a new pope.
"Papal secrets emerge after retirement announcement" (Briefly, Friday) asserts the news of the post-papacy lodgings for Pope Benedict have been under construction since at least last fall and "puts holes in the Holy See's early claims that Benedict kept his decision to himself until he revealed it." How so? Was it not prudent for the Vatican to make contingency plans while the pope pondered his decision? Perhaps he himself did not know the final decision until shortly before revealing it.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has sent shock waves throughout the Catholic world -- and rightly so. The Holy Father's eight-year reign was very successful. With his announcement that he will be stepping down at the end of February, the church must find a suitable successor. It will be difficult.
Pope Benedict's resignation has shocked the world. Who knew that a "conservative" 85-year old could surprise us?