Like many of you I was shocked, but not theologically jolted, nor was the Holy Father's decision a jolt to my understanding of him psychologically. In fact, there was nothing less surprising, really.
But there is nothing surprising about old people dying, yet it's still sad. I have to say, we have a relief valve here: we don't have to say to good-bye to the Pope because of death, we get a middle-option: retirement. I've been given a lot of time to get used to him leaving the world. I appreciate that.
Some people have said, "This is my pope." It's a way to say, "Yes, most of you still miss JPII, but this is the pope for me..." I'd be one of those. Ever since I was in the seminary I have been looking to Ratzinger to provide me with theological direction. I still am. I never dreamed about JPII, I have dreamed about meeting Benedict many times. It's weird really.
So, sure, I want to mourn with those who mourn here. I do mourn, but my admiration is just too strong to make me sad. He has done all things wonderfully.
Now, I have been bragging for eight years that I predicted the name that the next pope (who happened to be Ratzinger) would take - Benedict. Now, I am compelled to stick my neck out and do it again.
Annuntio vobis... qui sibi nomen imposuit Leo (quartus decimus).
I hope it will be Cardinal Ouellet who will be elected.