What the Vatican needs now

 

I applaud Pope Benedict XVI for his unselfish decision to resign and thus make tradition subservient to the needs of Catholics. I shame those who criticize him for not “dying at his post” as an increasingly debilitated figurehead. What the church needs now, perhaps more than ever, is more youthful leadership, the kind we had back in 1979 when John Paul II rose from relative obscurity to become an omnipresent warrior for faith with vigorous and passionate conviction.

Let us have another pope with that kind of fire in his gut, an uncompromising champion of faith who won’t capitulate to voices demanding retreat from 2000 years of “obsolete” values — perhaps a cardinal like 65-year-old Joao Braz de Aviz of Brazil. This would be an excellent choice since more than 40 percent of all Catholics are Latino.

Whatever the conclave’s choice, I hope it’s one based on needs rather than traditions.This particular pope is to be praised for being both a stable hand at the helm of the Vatican and for putting himself second to the needs of the faithful.