Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.Was John Boehner's conscience pricked by Pope Francis' words "common good" and "common needs"? Also, his role as leader of an unruly House was exposed for what it is: nearly, but not quite, useless. I think it's possible that the pope's visit inspired Boehner to announce his retirement at this moment, rather than at some time in not-so-distant future. Also, he may have had enough of trying to reign in far right extremists who care nothing about doing their jobs of actually governing the country. Besides, he'll no doubt move on to a better paying lobbying job that is far less stressful.
Whoever replaces Boehner as speaker will have to deal with the same Democratic president and the same filibuster rule in the Senate in attempts to pass legislation. Though I am no admirer of Boehner, to his credit, he kept the barbarians behind the gate to avert several disasters. Since Boehner's position as speaker is no longer at risk, the likelihood of a government shutdown may be lessened.