The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, described Pope Benedict XVI’s unexpected announcement today of his impending resignation as one of “great dignity, great concentration and great understanding of the significance of the moment.” The historical importance of this decision is indeed great and should not be lost to us. In six hundred years no one has resigned the papacy. The future of the Roman Catholic Church is changed as a result.
What also should not be lost in the moment is that if this could happen now, we should as well recognize that we live in a most remarkable period where, even against the backdrop of the most impossible odds, real immigration reform can be achieved.
I am grateful for this inspired witness of Pope Benedict XVI; and hope that legislators in Washington, D.C. will also approach these next few months with “great dignity, great concentration and great understanding of the significance of the moment.”
Rev. John L. McCullough is President and CEO of CWS.