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Joe Scheidler Comments on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

Posted by Joe Scheidler (February 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm)

The reaction most expressed at Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papacy is shock, and certainly surprise. Nobody saw it coming.

But in the case of many of us who are strong supporters of his doctrinal orthodoxy and his strong stands against moral crimes such as abortion, contraception, and same-sex “marriage,” the initial reaction is disappointment.

When Benedict became pope on April 19, 2005, I called it too good to be true. As an advisor to Pope John Paul II who thought in sync with him, with his deep roots in Church tradition, the inerrancy of Church doctrine and his refusal to compromise on any article of faith or morals, we believed we had a continuation of the leadership of John Paul II. We could not have been happier. Now we are sad and confused.

I wrote at the time, “Here is a humble, welcoming pastor. As second to the Pope in overseeing doctrine, he became synonymous among Catholics with the Church’s strictest factions, and earned the nickname, ‘God’s Rottweiler.’ ”

We may not have liked the word, but we were delighted with the image of a fierce fighter for Catholic tradition. At the time, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo of Colombia called Benedict “a follower and servant of the late Pope” who was “a simple man, serene, cordial, kind and with a fine sense of humor.”

This was the man who booted Fr. Charles Curran out of Catholic University of America for encouraging dissent, crippled Latin America’s “Liberation Theology” for its alleged Marxism and came down hard on the use of “inclusive” language. We loved him.

He was also a great teacher, was vitally concerned with evangelization, and whatever he did he did it out of love for Jesus Christ. We believed him.

But we ended our tribute with the question, “Who knows what the Holy Spirit has in store?”

Now we know: eight years of desperately hard work, and an early retirement. And disappointing as it may be to many of us, it is certainly the right decision.

The killing schedule of trips and talks and stressful conditions would wear out a much younger man. And the Church today in a pagan world needs a younger man with more energy to carry the load.

Most important, perhaps, is the things Benedict XVI will do in his retirement. The man is a writer, a man of great genius and in an age and at a time when we desperately need education in right thinking and right behavior. We can expect much from a retired Pope.

We will be ready for the wisdom of “God’s Rottweiler” in his retirement.

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11 Responses to “Joe Scheidler Comments on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI”

Note: Visitor comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pro-Life Action League.

  1. Nancy Janzen says:

    Don’t worry Joe. The professor is still teaching the class. We still have a lot to learn from our teacher. He has been giving signals on EWTN they have been thinking back and we just missed them all. Now he will teach us how to move on. I think he feels secure that we will get a strong leader. He made sure the college of Cardinals was near voting maximum 117 of 120 max. He brought in the Patriarch of the Marionite Church as a voting member for example. It is now in the hands of the real Pastor of the Church.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  2. Paul E. Beisch says:

    Please e-mail me a list of IL? House Bill 1179, and what it will do. Also IL? Senate Bill 1462, and what it will do. Thanks a lot, and have a Happy Valentines Day! Paul Beisch

    February 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm
  3. Barbara Lewis says:

    I love Pope Benedict.
    I will miss his hand on the till.
    I am not a theologian but I find his writing to be spirit filled, informative and a delight to read.
    May his next endeavors be filled with the breath of God.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  4. jim oberschmidt says:

    May our days continue to be blessed with Pope Benedict’s example of wisdom and courage, for even in our own lives we do not know how the Holy Spirit will work in our life on this new day! May,Dear Lord, we have all the grace we need to accept each new day as a new being in You Christ Jesus. Amen!

    February 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
  5. Jim Kramer says:

    As person of a Christian Reformed background, who studied at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, MI, I was in college studying theology and philosophy with an aim of being involved with missions. Pope John Paul II became Pope when I was a Junior. I was very impressed by his philosophical thinking and pastoral care. I took more classes in Roman Catholic theology. I am still of the Christian Reformed background, but definitely in the conservative Protestant Pro-Life camp because of Pope John Paul II. I have also been trying to follow Pope Benedict XVI, and read some of his writing. I am not able to become Roman Catholic because there is just too much variety in it. It is enough to know my own theological standpoint in my Christian Reformed background. But I am watching Catholic TV, and listening to Catholic radio, and I am with you on Pro-Lfe issues, and in serving a resurrected, living Jesus. I have been blessed by the articles I have read here today on Pope Benedict. Thank you to each one who has written. God bless, bye for now.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm
  6. James Jagiello says:

    We owe Pope Benedict XVI a big thank you for all he jas done for the Catholic Church and the world.

    February 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm
  7. Leeta von Buelow says:

    My son served the Epiphany Mass for Pope Benedict at St. Peter’s 2013. He was one of the four personal servers to the Pope who held the microphone for him. He reported to me that the Pope could only make small, bird steps and could barely move. He said that when the Pope vested, he just held out his arms away from his body and the masters of ceremony vested Pope Benedict. My son told me to pray for the Pope. Also, in reply to my dismay at hearing how weak the Pope was, he just said, “the Pope is in God’s hands.”
    I am so sad, too. We love the Pope so much. The Holy Father, ( our soon-to-be Holy Grandfather!!!) is so humble, that he will get out of the way, so that the Church can have a stronger Pope in these dangerous times.

    February 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm
  8. Agnes Adams says:

    Joe,

    That was a good e-mail. Holy Father Benedict asked me to tell you he is not tired or retired. His number one priority after he steps down from the Papacy is to stop abortion, especially in the USA first. As I told you the other day he wants to devote most of his time to it. I think from what my husband told me he feels that he wants to do more than just talk about it. I think he was feeling like all the other things he has been doing as Pope was taking up too much of his time. And he feels it is the greatest sin happening in the world and the reason why the world is in such a mess and getting worse.

    So bottom line Mr. GW Bush will be in touch with you in a few months. Keep this quiet until you hear from George or one of the Cardinals. Only a few people know Holy Father is moving to Texas. That is why the Vatican said he was moving into a cloister of nuns. He is but not in Rome. The monestary is in Texas. He asked me to tell you all of this so you and Eric and Father Pavone (I am pretty sure he knows. It is not a coincident that Father Pavone has a monestary in Texas—get it? Father got off the stage!! Get it?)

    I know the Holy Father has surprised a lot of people but Joe I don’t think he wants to face God at his judgement with all this abortion in the world and all he could do was talk about it. My husband says he has had the feeling that the Papacy has been tying his hands and he has not been able to get down and dirty as they saw. So he quit and he asked me to tell you that the ‘gloves are off’ and he is extremely hopefull that you and thee others are ready to work with him.

    But he has to wait a few months until the new Pope is in place. He does not want to steal his thunder so early in his Papacy. So he said he needs ideas and he also, as I said in my e-mail the other day, needs all the history and players in the Pro-life movement. He wants a bio on as many folks as you can find. He picked the USA to do this because he says if it is going to stop around the world it has to stop here first. And he was very happy and excited about the March on Washington. He was thrilled with 50 thousand. But he told my husband next year he expects 150 thousand if he has to visit every Diocese and Parish in the country.

    By the way in case you are wondering why the Pope is talking to me and my husband it is because Jessie is from Poland and Vatican cITY. (MY CAP LOCK IS BROKEN) hE WAS A FRIEND OF jpII BEFORE HE WAS POPE. JOHN PAUL INTRODUCED JESSIE TO POPE BENIDICT YEARS AGO. HE SENT JESSIE TO ROCKVILLE, MD IN 2000. WE MET AT ST MARY’S AND WERE MARRIED SECRETLY AT THE END OF 2000.

    kEEP ALL THIS UNDER YOUR HAT AND NO PHONES. AND KEEP OFF THE COMPUTER. GO SEE FATHER PAVONE FACE TO FACE IF YOU CAN’T WAIT. ONCE YOU FIND OUT THE TRUTH TRY TO GET THAT INFORMATION TO FATHER PAVONE’S BISHOP OR CARDINAL DAN DINARDO. HE IS THE LOCAL ORDINARY HERE IN HOUSTON. THE HOLY FATHER IS IN A HURRY TO GET STARTED.

    bY THE WAY jOE, hOLY fATHER ASKED ME WHO i WOULD RECOMMEND THAT HE COULD WORK WITH AND i TOLD HIM YOU WERE THE gENERAL OF THE pRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IN THE US. i ALSO TOLD HIM ABOUT jACK aIMES OF DEFEND LIFE, THE GROUP MY SISTER ROSE AND I BELONGED TO. HE ALREADY KNEW ALL ABOUT FATHER PAVONE. BY THE WAY HE ALSO WANTS RIGHT TO LIFE MARYLAND.

    THE TRUTH IS JOE AND ERIC THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT HAS NEEDED A “DRAW” FROM THE BEGINNING. NOW YOU GOT HIM. BUT REMEMBER WHEN IT STOPS HERE HOLY FATHER IS PLANNING TO GO AROUND THE WORLD. tHAT MEANS EVERYONE HAS TO BE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL. HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL—MULTI TASKING!!!

    lOVE AGNES AND JESSIE

    As

    February 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm
  9. Racheal says:

    whatever Pope Benedict is, he is not a “Rottweiler”, but rather a gentle, pious, sweet-tempered man. And yes I’m going to miss him, especially when they’d broadcast him on Relevant Radio. I’m glad he canonized St. Hildegard.

    February 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm
  10. Liz Johnston says:

    Pope Benedict XVI is again leading us on a journey of Faith-showing us who is truly in charge. He will continue to be a blessing to us all.

    February 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  11. Pauk says:

    To: Leeta It is tradition for the pope and any bishop to have sacristans or acolytes put the vestments on. This did not mean that Benedict XVI was too weak or incapable of dressing himself. And if you watched the farewell of the pope today, Feb 28, you would have seen him walking, not in baby steps, but normally for an 85 year-old man who has devoted his entire life to God in the service of the Church, and poured out his lifeblood these past 8 years. Long live Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

    February 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm

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