In the News
I was interviewed early this week by the local paper regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the upcoming election of the new Pope. The article that was based on the interview appeared today in the Harrodsburg Herald on page 12A. For those without an access to the print or online issue of the Herald, I have reproduced the article below. I have to admit that it was difficult for this former reporter for a daily newspaper to ignore several rhetorical lapses; hence, my emendations to the original.
Local Church Weighs In on Pope Resignation
by Lauren Harris
Herald Staff; firstname.lastname@example.org
At 2 PM on Feb. 28 when Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation took effect, the bells of St. Andrew Catholic Church rang for eight minutes to commemorate the Pope’s eight years of papacy. The bells rang as a call to prayer in thanksgiving and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.
The Feb. 11 announcement of the Pope’s resignation took St. Andrew Catholic Church by surprise. Father Noel Zamora said, “It came as a shock to most everyone, because nobody [saw] it coming. The biggest shock is how historical this [was] going to be.”
Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to resign in more than 600 years. Zamora said the St. Andrew congregation reaction ranged from complete confusion to later realizing the blessing that lies in the situation.
“The good thing is we started opening our history books and learning more. We are steeped in tradition and history, and this reassures us that during a time of transition we have something set up,” remarked Zamora.
Zamora continued by saying the pope’s resignation was a reminder of humility, adding, “While so many hold on to power, he gave it up.”
Zamora continued, “The Pope gave us an opportunity to witness to our Faith. Suddenly, people are asking about the Catholic Church, and this [allows] us to share. It is an invitation for us to study our [own] history.”
Zamora confirmed the Pope’s picture has been taken down in the Church and he is no longer mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer. In the Pope’s absence, bittersweet sentiments have run through the St. Andrew’s community.
“It’s a strong feeling. This is something we haven’t quite experienced as a Church,” said Zamora. “It’s bittersweet. We are grateful for everything he has done, but also gotten used to his service.”
When asked, Zamora did not mention a specific [cardinal] whom he or the Church would like to see elected, but he coyly replied with a Roman saying, “He who enters the conclave a Pope leaves it a cardinal.” Zamora continued, “This is a reminder that as much as we may want this person or that person, when it comes to the election, [His] will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. It is God’s will, not [what we] want.”
Zamora concluded by saying, “To be Pope is a very demanding, grueling job. We need someone with the strength and stamina not only to preach but to live the Gospel as an example for all of us.”
In advance of Holy Week, March 25-29, St. Andrew Catholic Church will hold Mass on Friday, March at 11 AM to gather in prayer for the election. Zamora hopes the election will begin on March 11, emphasizing the urgency which comes from the fact that Holy Week is fast approaching.
Holy Week is the week preceding Easter and the final week of Lent. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and end with Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.
“Personally, I find this to be an exciting time. What we are experiencing, some only read about in history books. We are experiencing a rediscovery of forgotten tradition,” remarked Zamora.