Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns. Veni Sancte Spiritus.

I remember the day Ratzinger was elected pope. Although I was still on a parish staff, I was not in the office -- not at first. I zipped back there when I heard on NPR that white smoke was blowing and a new pope would soon appear before the crowd gathered in St. Peter's square.

When he did and it turned out to be Ratzinger, our entire parish staff groaned. My priest-boss dropped his head in his hands. Franciscans were visiting at the time to lead our Lenten mission. "Get ready to wear a full habit again," quipped the brother to the sister.

Pizza arrived and we stuffed the rest of our feelings down with that. Double fudge brownies for dessert. With a brownie in his mouth and one in each hand my priest-boss mumbled to no one in particular, "Chocolate is good for stress, right?"

I would leave that parish job, that parish; serve as a lay liturgical minister in another; move from Princeton to Baltimore; join the parish rolls of Jesuit-led church and then stop going to Roman Catholic Mass shortly after the "new" Roman Missal appeared on the scene.

After several failed attempts to generate traction on Twitter for the hashtag #CatholicSpring, I basically gave up. Dumping the Roman Catholic Church in all its messy glory at the foot of the Cross seemed the prudently prayerful way to go.

This morning, my Episcopal Canon husband woke me up with these words, "I am not kidding and this is not a joke: Pope Benedict has resigned. There will be a new pope by Easter."

No (more) words for now. This prayer: Veni Sance Spiritus.