Papal Resignation: a reflection from the University Chaplain

Papal Resignation: a reflection from the University Chaplain

Yesterday, I was headed for morning prayers at my Dominican community when one of my brothers rushed to tell me, “the Pope is resigning!”  A student I spoke to this morning raised her concern, “why is the Pope resigning?”

Pope Benedict XVI said:  “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

The choice to do so, and the time the Pope chose for it, is not at random.  He recently declared this liturgical year to be the “Year of Faith” and his resignation will take effect within the Season Lent.  We will be considering a new person to lead our communion in the Catholic Church in a time when we are commemorating Faith and during a season of conversion and new life.

The Pope is leading by example.  It took honest self-scrutiny, firm faith that God is leading the Church, courage, and humility for Pope Benedict XVI to let go of his place at the head of our faith community and leave it for someone with the strength to do so.  It is a reaffirmation that the chair of Peter is not held by a personality but at service the Church.

Blessings and Peace to our Pope who as we enter the season of Lent is giving us the example to look at ourselves honestly and without fear, and filled with faith turn our hope to God in the service of others.

Fr. Marcelo Solórzano, OP
University Chaplain
Department of Campus Ministry


For more information, please contact the Department of Campus Ministry at and/or 305-899-3650 or visit our offices behind Cor Jesu Chapel.