Pope Francis I was announced today as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church. Today I was reminded of my initial thoughts when Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was retiring from his duties as the 265th pope. In short… well done.
I was even more shocked to learn that the last pope to resign under his own initiative was Pope Celestine V in 1294. What?!?!?! There hasn’t been one pope in over 700 years that has said, “I’m getting too old to lead the church, I need to step aside and let someone else do this.”
I don’t know much about what the Pope does, nor do I keep tabs on what each of them are like as a person. I know that Pope Benedict XVI earned my respect as a man who was willing to lay aside over 700 years of tradition and let someone else take the reigns as the leader of the Catholic Church.
I hope I have enough humility to step aside and let someone else lead when I may not be the best man (or in the best place) to lead.