Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Celestine and Benedict

A curious story about the only two popes to voluntarily resign the papacy:
Back outside the basilica, Angelo Micheri arrives to pray, as he does every day. He reveres Celestine.
"He's important because he helps people in need," Micheri says.
Times are tough in Italy these days. Micheri is a carpenter who can't get a job. To survive, he begs.
Micheri is confident Celestine will answer his prayers for work.
"Yes, I think he will. I asked him before, and I found work," he says.
Some construction laborers who do have jobs are working on the basilica. It's still being repaired after part of the roof caved in during a big earthquake that struck L'Aquila four years ago.
After the quake, Pope Benedict came to console victims. He prayed before Celestine's coffin. In a highly symbolic gesture, Benedict laid upon it a most sacred vestment — his pallium, or a kind of scarf.
Shortly after that, Celestine's coffin was moved for a while. It was paraded slowly though the narrow streets, on the back of a small truck, to the nearby town of Sulmona.
Benedict went to pray before Celestine's remains there, too.
The significance of the two visits is "quite staggering," says Ferzoco. To him, it's amazing no one saw the message behind Benedict's actions.
"He was showing that it is permissible, licit, and in some cases spiritually beneficial that a pope may resign for the good of his soul and for the benefit of his flock," Ferzoco says.
The whole article is interesting.

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