This week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his retirement from papal service. Although I am a Catholic born and raised, I could not help feeling smug when I heard the news. The only Pope I ever really knew was Pope John Paul II. And while I may not have agreed with all of his political views, he definitely was a spiritual leader. As the global leader for the Catholic Church, he checked all of the boxes. He worked for peace in the Middle East. He emphasized the Universal Call to Holiness. He travelled to countries that heretofore had never been visited by a Pope. He apologized on behalf of the Church to those it had hurt. He survived two assassination attempts. And to top it all off, he served to his death despite his battle with Parkinson’s. To me, Pope John Paul II was a leader by example. He showed us that when you take pride out of the picture, we can live together in harmony despite our faith, gender, age, or political views. So when Pope Benedict XVI was announced as Pope John Paul II’s successor, I was skeptical.