Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia (Where Peter is, there is the Church)
Now that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has renounced his office as of 8pm his time (11am my time) today, all of us should give thanks to God for the gift of his service and pray for God's continued protection during this time while the See of Peter is vacant.
Now is also the time to pray for the cardinals as they prepare for the coming conclave. To them is given the task of selecting our new Pope. We should pray that they are open to the Holy Spirit in their considerations for the good of the Church.
Finally, we, the people of the Church, need be at peace and to recognize that the selection of the Pope is not a political affair. It is not an issue of party platforms. It is a matter of selecting the 266th successor of St. Peter. We pray for a Pope who will be a good man to lead us in the years to come.
Let us not be frightened by so-called prophecies on the internet and media attacks. We believe that Christ has promised to be with the Church until the end of the age (Matt 28:20) and that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church (Matt 16:18). The promises made by Christ to Peter will remain for all Popes.
For centuries, people have predicted the collapse of the Catholic Church from sinners within and attacks from outside. Through the grace of Christ, we are still here and we have faith that He will continue to protect the Church He established.