John Moody, Fox News Executive V.P. and former TIME magazine Vatican correspondent, weighs in on outgoing Pope Benedict XVI‘s decision to resign.
At FoxNews.com, Moody says Benedict “never had a chance“:
[H]is nearly eight years on the Throne of the Fisherman never really produced the results he hoped for. He did not unite the conservative and progressive wings of the Catholic Church. He did not re-establish its place in Europe, the work of a previous Pope Benedict and the reason he took that name. Nor did he expand its foothold in Asia, cement its dominance in Latin America, or make serious inroads in Africa. And he did not bring to fruition the ecumenical understanding with other major faiths that he hoped would bloom during his reign. …
Benedict’s meek initial outings were public relations meltdowns. His smile, though genuine, looked somehow sinister, as if he were about to bite his audience. Determined to restore the Church’s luster in Europe, where it is often treated like a dotty old aunt, Benedict gave a lecture in Regensburg, Germany, in 2006 that appeared to denigrate Islam. The non-Catholic world howled; the Vatican cringed and apologized.
None of which lessens Benedict’s place in the line of Vicars of Christ. His decision to resign was a brave one, based on personal humility, in keeping with his message to the faithful that the things of Earth are transient, but the promise of heaven lasting and infinite. For that he should be remembered.