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Leading Canadian prelate: in resignation, Pope still teaching us

Catholic World News - February 21, 2013

In his act of resignation, Pope Benedict XVI continued to be the teacher he has been throughout his lifetime, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops told Vatican Radio.

The Pontiff “has been one of the world’s, and history’s, great, great teachers of the faith,” Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton told Vatican Radio. “And this action teaches us something. He spoke of how his decision has been made after a long time of thought, examining his conscience before God. And here he is putting into action something that has been central to his teachings for years: the centrality and role of conscience, and how we need to listen to it, and follow its dictates.”

“In Western society conscience has grown numb, it’s fallen asleep, and it needs to be awakened,” he continued. “And here by this action, he’s teaching us just that.”

Archbishop Smith added:

The other that he’s teaching is the need to understand and live within our limits. And that is another particular trial, not just for western society but for human nature, ever since the original sin, where we tried to reach out beyond our limitations, beyond our creatureliness. And he, by acknowledging his limits at this particular time, is saying, “No, limits are part of our human reality and we need to respect them and live within them, and as we do, placing our trust in the wisdom and in the providence, and in the love of God.”

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