On March 1, 2013, Thursday, the Pope resigned and ended his papacy. He had already contemplated on this. He was much concerned about his health and the continuity of the Roman Catholic church.
This has caused come shock to most especially those in the church. The idea of a resigning leader sends a strong message. Though back in the time of Pope John Paul II the image of the Pope was rather awe-inspiring, that of the recently-resigned Pope Benedict XVI was different. There was a little of politics, human reaction, and what is ordinary.
What is worth discussing as regards this is the idea of the church’s disposition and future as well. Alongside several allegations of some priests and bishops, this recent event seems to make people think about where the church is standing. In a newscast of rappler.com, it was explained that this was a right that a pope has. It is but a spiritual right to step down brought about by inadequacy. The church is bigger than the Pope, and so everything will continue no matter what.
Religion, as the sociologist Emile Durkheim puts it, “involves the things that surpass the limits of our knowledge.” There is then the symbiotic relationship of the sacred, that being the extraordinary and awe-inspiring, and the profane, which basically includes everything mundane and everything just ordinary to put it simply. And religion hangs on the sacred, and this establishes the foundation of the church. But to put it clearly, the sacred exists in contrast to the profane, or probably it would exist interchangeably, or the same.
On this note, we can then participate in the discussion of the given situation. What the pope’s resignation implicits is the idea that the church is mainly an organization of human leaders who have human and worldly needs, and what sets it apart the rest is the long standing tradition of faith and dogma. This event basically shakes the church once again apart from the anomalies and controversies. Regardless if the church stays strong, conservative, and traditional, the nuances of today given the turn of events mainly sets the future.
We may then question if such overlapping of the banality and sacredness may turn out categorical and would end up becoming the ordinary in the long run. This then becomes consequential to the number of believers in time.
Soon, the conclave of cardinals will yet once again vote for the new pope. Will the next pope tire himself and leave the seat once again?
Photo credit: [http://ibnlive.in.com, Featured photo: www.cnn.com]