He had done that already with his 1999 book The Reform of the Papacy, which is the most important response by a Roman Catholic prelate to John Paul II's encyclical Ut Union Sint and its articulation of the relationship between the concrete forms of exercise of the Petrine office
and the ecumenical commitment of the Catholic Church.
Paulinus Odozor argues for the extension of the theology of gratuitousness to the church's internal life, calling for the Petrine office
to see itself as "redistributionist in chief" (30) for all goods, economic and spiritual.
Pope Benedict's resignation has, in a very concrete way, enabled Catholics to distinguish more clearly the Petrine office
and its officeholder, however gifted or charismatic he may be.
Such a process would also be a contribution to a Petrine office
in the service of unity.
Pope Benedict XVI's shocking announcement that he would renounce the Petrine office
On hearing the news George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff and leader of Catholics in Wales, said: "I share the surprise of people all over the world at the news of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI from the Petrine Office
. I am sure that many will recognise it to be a decision of great courage and humility, made with characteristic clarity of mind and action.
He says: "The only candidate for something truly unique to Roman Catholicism is the Petrine office
, the papacy" (31) but then says that the Orthodox and the Anglicans agree with us basically in our faith except for this one matter, which he tries to establish by talking about doctrines settled by Catholics before 500 A.D., and even then he does not mention such things as divorce and remarriage, or abortion, or the Real Presence, which were important Catholic teachings before 500 A.D.
Cardinal Josef Ratzinger has elaborated what he calls "the martyrological principle" which he applies to the mutual dependency between the collegiality of bishops and the Petrine office
.(8) The same principle might be applied to the relationship between the individual martyr and the church as martyria, a communion of those who in Christ bear witness to the Father by the one means of grace from the Holy Spirit.
The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI from papacy testifies the fact that the Petrine Office
is no power position that can evade accountability to God and to the Universal Church for leading his flock in the path paved out by His Divine Master: the Narrow Path.
In Miller's view, the renunciation of the Petrine office
(the first in 600 years) is "a final act of papal teaching"-in large part because it is a deliberate gesture.
The idea is also theologically questionable, because it sees the forms taken by the Petrine office
in earlier ages as having been defective.
Section 3, given to systematic reflection, includes five ecclesiological essays touching on the themes of infallibility, the ecclesiological context for primacy and the Petrine office
, and the future exercise of the papacy.