The chair of Peter is vacant, but this in no way means that the Church has no head. The head of the Church has been, and will always be, Christ Jesus, our Lord. This period of Papal vacancy reminds Catholics of an important truth: that it is Christ who leads His Church – it is the Holy Spirit who guides Her.
We also must remember that it is Christ who commissioned his apostles to go into the world. It is Chist who, through his commissioning, gave the apostles the power to bind and loose, to admit or withhold forgiveness. It was God’s most gracious will that allowed for a visible Church with a living head, and that through this head there may be greater unity in the vast and universal Church.
It is only with this truth in mind that we look upon the vacant chair as both a hope and a promise: A hope that the chair will once again be filled by a righteous servant who will guide Christ’s Church in obedience, wisdom and humility, and a promise that whomever takes the chair will be guided by none other than the Holy Spirit Himself to preserve the unity and power of Christ’s Holy Bride.
It is with this hope and promise that we can more clearly understand the resignation of Benedict XVI . His stepping down was an act of faith demonstrating that even though he would relinquish his power, Christ’s power in the Church is never relinquished.
Let us pray for our now Pope emeritus that he may faithfully serve the Church in his new capacity, and also for the upcoming Pope that he may be able to lead Christs’s Church through this time of great tribulation.