True to his word, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement for the good of the church because the burden of office demands more than his failing strength can muster. Appointed at an age when he was looking forward to retirement his early vigour has visibly waned before our eyes, suffering the indignity of being wheeled around on a trolley and in danger of becoming a figurehead manipulated by others, something he was determined to avoid. His visit to Britain was a momentous occasion saddened only by the separation of the church. Who could not have been impressed with the grandeur of the occasion when James MacMillan's music announced the Pope's Westminster Cathedral entrance in contrast to the frail figure bestowing his blessing on all. God grant him a long and happy retirement.