|Picture I took of the Holy Father in 2006, shortly before I touched his hands.|
On our own we will be able to pray for the pope emeritus, but not for the "acting" pope.
When John Paul II died, echoing in hearts across the world the "Santo Subito!" that was chanted in St. Peter's Square, we were able to ask him for our prayers, believing he had gone to "the house of our Father" and was ready to intercede for us.
But when a pope resigns, walks into another building and disappears, to be immersed in prayer, we don't know how to respond. He can pray for us. In fact, he will pray for us. But it's not the same as praying for his intercession.
And we can pray for him, should pray for him. But it's not the same as praying for, "Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI."
Thank you, Holy Father, for serving us well during the past eight years. Thank you for dedicating yourself to prayer for us and for the Church. Thank you for modeling to us the humility and service of leadership. Thank you for teaching us.