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I can no longer hear God

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22.01.2020

By Jason Lim

In one of the pivotal scenes in the Netflix movie, "The Two Popes," Pope Benedict XVI cries out, "I can no longer hear God!" to his would-be-successor. "I believe in God! I pray ... but only silence. How can I reveal his word to our millions of pilgrims if I do not hear his presence?"

He then goes on to utter what I believe are the most insightful lines of the whole movie: "I have been alone my whole life, but I have never been lonely, until now. You wished for an extraordinary reason for my resignation ― do you have one now?"

Benedict might have meant that the extraordinary reason for his resignation was that he, as the Vicar of Christ, could no longer personally hear God. But what I took away was that he was lonely.

By the nature of the position and his own personality, he was disconnected from real human relationships, isolated without any community, and surrounded by utter silence, even from his own internal guiding voice he had relied on. In today's lingo, he was being "ghosted" by his world.

This, more than anything else, drove his decision to resign. All the concerns about the evolution of the church, theological discussions, and his own failings as a leader seem like rationalizations for an emotional decision that he has made because he was........

© The Korea Times