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I, along with millions around the world, greeted the headline with surprise. My initial reaction was “you are not allowed to retire, abdicate, resign or quit, it isn’t part of the deal” I am a lapsed Catholic but I do remember that when one is anointed Pope, it doesn’t come with any back door caveats, you are Pope for life. That was my initial response, but upon further reflection, if he is putting the office above his own legacy, than I take back my hasty criticism.

He will be known as the Green Pope which I think will long outlast any other scandals that have plagued his time in Rome. The fact that he as made the Vatican carbon neutral for the future and made electric vehicles a part of the Pope mobile unit is such an important commitment to our Earth. I also admire his calling attention to the wars in Africa revolving around fossil fuels and how the African peoples are suffering for it and because of it. Africa as a continent has suffered for centuries because of colonial expansionistic behavior and it is beyond tragic that even in the 21st century, that still hasn’t changed. The Pope tried to call attention to its continued existence and he should be commended for that.

The world will be welcoming a new Pope and I hope that the new one continues the important environmental commitment and championing that our former Pope strongly believed in and strove for, I would hope that the new Pope will see that legacy through to its best end.

I wish the former Pope a restful retirement and I hope good fortunes for the new Pope when he is elected.