Persons, places and things: Pope teaches us how to leave gracefully


By Barb Arland-Fye


Arriving at the office on Monday morning, I thought the day would progress smoothly because many stories and columns had been written, edited and placed on pages. I hadn’t had the opportunity to read or watch early news reports, so the extraordinary announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign, effective Feb. 28, caught me off guard.
How do you process a decision that the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide makes, a decision so unusual that 600 years have passed since the last time a pope resigned?
In addition to dealing with the usual disruptions that occur on press deadline, I had a personal deadline to meet. My son Patrick, a senior in high school, had a symphonic band performance that night. I’ve missed just one concert since he began playing in the school band in junior high. I promised myself that I wouldn’t miss this one.

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