The Cincinnati Enquirer interviews Fr. Ryan Ruiz, one of the youngest priests in the AOC and currently studying in Rome, on Pope Benedict’s decision to abdicate and the coming conclave. Here are a few snippets:

Q: Why is changing a pope important?

A: Pope is papa in Spanish and Italian; it’s a familial title. And Holy Father … shows that link to the universal church, the worldwide church. The pope is not just the CEO; he’s not just an elected leader who can be pushed out of office because of political will. … He has a paternal relationship with and a paternal office in the church.

Q: Do you think the ongoing allegations of sexual abuse and improprieties played a role in his resignation?

A: Certainly they had an effect on him because he has such a strong love for the church and for his flock, just as many of us have been troubled, upset and shattered by some of these revelations about what’s been going on in the church. I can only imagine that weighed heavily on his heart. Whether that was a tipping point … and led him to make this decision, I don’t know. But I think we have to take the Holy Father’s word for what he said: he’s an 85-year-old man who’s spent all of his life serving the church.

When he was just Cardinal Ratzinger serving under Pope John Paul II, there were at least three occasions when he asked the pope if he (Ratzinger) could retire … Pope John Paul II wasn’t ready to let Cardinal Ratzinger to go.

Q: What do you expect from the next pope?

A: The role of pope isn’t so much to be an innovator. The role is to be a steward of what has come before – the teachings of Christ and the 2000-year-old traditions of the church.

There’s always the concern for evangelization and growing the church by proclaiming who we are and what we believe. … The new pope will want to see the church grow and be more healthy and more alive.”

Earlier this week, the Catholic Telegraph posted a video-interview of Fr. Ruiz.

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