By Br. Mariano Di Vito, OFM Cap
Pope Benedict XVI does not leave the arena of history. When the clock struck 8:00 p.m. on 28 February, he did not end his ministry. It is only the way he practises this ministry that has changed.
The theologian pope has decided to renounce his temporal guidance of the “holy Church of God” and to continue devotedly to serve it “by a life dedicated to prayer.”
These were the words he used, last 11 February, at the end of the declaration in which he made known his decision to “renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter,” that had been “entrusted” to him “by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005.” Words that were considered of secondary importance and relegated to the background by the turbulent media system intent on uncovering and hypothesising possible undeclared reasons behind this historic decision.
And yet the key to understanding this decision (only apparently out of weakness) and of the whole Pontificate is to be found in those words and, in particular, in that one word: “prayer.”