The difficulty with Clark Kent was never that he had arisen from obscurity or that he towered so large over the rest of humanity. The difficulty was not even that we knew his mother and father and therefore resisted his greatness as has happened in other places. Our difficulty with Mr. Kent was that he could return to his office building and act as he had before.
And that is exactly why many of us are confused with the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to abdicate his position as Roman Pontiff. We have watched him as he humbly took on the most difficult task to guard the Deposit of Faith as head for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. We again watched him rise to greatness as he became just ‘a simple worker in the vineyard of the Lord’ as he said on the day he was first elevated to the papacy. But now we watch him as he hangs up his cape to sit in prayer with the other pilgrims on this glorious journey, not because of scandal or unfaithfulness or even kryptonite but because he loves the office of Peter too much.
He is tired and weak, worn out by years of fighting the good fight, and for that we love him. But love him as we do we will continue to be confused, for while he is beloved and sitting next to us we will soon cease to call him Papa. Indeed, we will have to look towards the balcony of St. Peter for that.