After a restless night, I awoke yesterday to the news of Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation as leader of the Catholic Church at the end of February, due to both physical and mental fatigue, becoming the first Pope to abdicate his position atop the Vatican in 700 years.
Although not a Catholic, I have long been a fan of Pope Benedict XVI, as I personally believed there was no man capable of following the shoes of the beloved Pope John Paul II, and that his being the first German Pope in centuries, considering his childhood in Nazi Germany, and his generally pro-Jewish policies since he was elected by the Cardinals conclave, made him unique.
And his act of resignation only makes me admire the man further, as unlike the many men who preceded him, he didn't the treat the position of Pope as his for life, but rather as a force to run, unite and lead hundreds of millions of Catholics and Parishes, and when his abilities declined to levels unable to continue the job, he put his Church first - and himself later.
I know the Cardinals will convene within the next few weeks to decide on a new leader for the Church, but I doubt they will elect a man so noble in character as Pope Benedict XVI.
What say you?