Monday, February 18, 2013
Catholics will long tell each other what they were doing and how they felt when the news of Pope Benedicts resignation hurtled around the world.

I had woken up that morning thinking about the Pope, and about the Papacy in general, and pondering the hugeness of the task of a Pope... and was thinking about it rather obsessively as I washed and dressed and drank some coffee. It was simply because I was due to spend the day working on a long-planned power-point presentation about Blessed John Paul. Armed with a new laptop, I hurried off to an appointed meeting in Oxfordshire, where the plan was to sort out illustrations for the power-point and work on the technicalities. En route, a message bleeped on to my mobile phone...

The whole day felt strange and lonely, didnt it? The Holy Father was making a correct and prudent decision, after much prayer, with the good of the Church at the core of this thinking, and the whole of his mind and heart placed at the service of Christ. We felt for him, and listening to his dear voice and realising how much older he was than when he was speaking at, for example, the great World Youth Days in Cologne or Sydney or Madrid there was a heartache...

And now the service we can and must render the Church is that of prayer. In Rome over the next days and weeks the lobbying and talking will be on an enormous scale: emails and tweets and mobile phones will make this coming conclave something that is quite different from any that has gone before. Traditionalists and SSPX-supporters will be lobbying, modernists will be lobbying, and in the heart of it all will be the men whose task it is to maintain a sense of true faithfulness to the Church and prayerful responsibility before God to elect Peters successor.

  News Home
  Joan's Rome
  A Catholic Journalist
in London
  Inside EWTN
  Power & Witness
  Journeys home by Marcus Grodi
  Seen & Unseen
  Vatican Insider Podcast
  Joan's Rome:Video