“There is no doubt that the church faces many difficult days ahead,” Thomas said. Among the issues are sexual-abuse allegations, ethical matters in North American and Western Europe, financial scandals and matters relating to teaching and the spread of relativism.
Nevertheless, Thomas said the church as a whole is strong, with 1.2 billion members worldwide and even as the cardinals seek direction on the leadership question, Catholic Charities will continue to demonstrate the love of Christ in practical ways.
Thomas predicted that Benedict’s retirement will set a new precedent in an age where the pope must communicate as fluently with a mobile device as his predecessors did with a pen.
“We’re on the cusp of something new,” Thomas said.