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Monday, February 11, 2013

Humble Leadership In a Day of Narcissism

Many leaders do all they can to achieve power and then cling to it until the bitter end once they obtain it. Pope Benedict XVI's unexpected resignation was refreshing in that he put the ministry and mission of the church before himself in a time of rampant narcissism.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. 
I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. 
However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to steer the ship of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me. 
For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is." [Link]
Although the Pope belongs to a religious tradition other than mine, I am inspired by his humility and hope to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to me with a similar earnestness and care.

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