The year 2013 was definitely a “two for” for the Church Universal. It was the year we had two Popes. Benedict the XVI abdicated the Papal throne. This was the first time in more than 400 years that a pope stepped down. His frail physical condition forced his personal decision for the sake of the Church. True leaders think not of themselves but the people they serve. The Vicar of Christ on earth knew that the role of Peter would be better served by someone who could lead the Church with strength during these difficult and contentious times.continue at ArchMil
Many questioned who the Cardinals would choose as a successor. Would it be an “insider”? Would he be young? Would he be older? Perhaps he would be an interim. Speculation abounded. Who emerged was someone almost no one expected. It must be the work of the Holy Spirit.
Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina immediately captured the hearts and the imagination of the world. His humble and non-pretentious style spoke volumes about the Christian personality that now serves the Church. The excitement seems to continue as Time Magazine named Pope Francis the Person of the Year. However, popularity is fleeting and this pope like others will be used by various groups to try to further personal agendas, rather than embrace the teachings offered by the Vicar of Christ and be challenged by the Gospel message in its totality. A true religious leader understands that the throne he assumes is the Cross of Christ and the crown is thorns. I know that the prayers of his predecessor are offered daily for his courage.
2013 was also a “two for” for the Archdiocese. It was the year we hosted two cardinals in one week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan for the Pallium Lecture and Cardinal James Harvey as the honored guest of the Seminary Dinner. Two different personalities yet; both tremendous credits to the Roman Catholic Church they serve.