In his final Sunday Angelus yesterday, the Holy Father spoke to thousands of pilgrims: “The Lord is calling me ‘out to the mountain’ to devote more time to prayer and meditation, but this does not mean I’m abandoning the Church. In fact, if God is asking this of me, it’s precisely to continue serving the Church with the same dedication and love with which I have served so far, but in a way that’s more suited for my age and strength.”
It’s history in the making as this Thursday the Holy Father will abdicate the Petrine Ministry to live a life of prayer and the Cardinals of the Church will gather for Conclave to elect the Successor of Peter. During this time, we pray for Pope Benedict XVI and for the leaders of the Church who elect his successor.
I attended the Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles this weekend and listened to John Allen, journalist of the NCR, who spoke of the things the cardinals will be looking for as they seek the Successor of the Petrine Ministry. Simply put, they are looking for a pope with a global vision, an evangelizer, and a governor who can administrate the affairs of the Eternal City. Not one man can necessarily fit the bill, but we pray for the guidance and inspiration of the Paraclete, as a new man comes forth in the weeks to come to fill the shoes of two great popes in our time.