Governor Brownback, it’s time to walk away.

As a convert to Catholicism — someone who wasn’t just born into the faith, but chose it — maybe think of it this way: It’s time to follow the selfless and historic example of Pope Benedict XVI and step down from the job, ceding power not because you have to, but for the good of the faithful.

Or in this case, for the good of the good people of Kansas, who as we’ve argued before, need a real, full-time governor and not one who’s waiting for his ride.

The job you’ve been waiting on might or might not materialize now, we know, and you do, too.

That’s because those in your own Republican Party didn’t put a vote for your confirmation as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom on the Senate calendar by the end of the year. …

Was it something you said, at that confirmation hearing for which you appeared so ill-prepared?

Was it something you did, or undid, like protections for state employees against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

That’s definitely why Democrats decided to delay the vote. And perhaps why one or two of those Republicans who will be running for reelection next year weren’t eager to have to defend a vote for you. …

… But to come back to the governorship now, after handing off many of the important duties of the job to Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, would not be in the state’s best interest. If he’s your hoped-for successor, don’t disadvantage him further by dragging this out. Especially with the state of the state address coming up, along with the new legislative session and the new budget. …

As you know, Benedict stepped down because he loves the church, and saw first-hand that in John Paul II’s final days, he couldn’t be the steward his flock needed. …

Kansas needs new leadership as much as oppressed religious minorities around the world need your passion for their situation. …

But as a fictional victim of religious persecution in pre-revolutionary Russia — yes, in “Fiddler on the Roof” — asked God to “bless and keep the tsar, far away from us,” we wish you well, too, far from Topeka.

— The Kansas City Star