Holy S**t! Pope resigns

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The pope's spokesman Federico Lombardi is giving a press conference at the Vatican, which you can watch here, or below. It is in Italian.

Lombardi has said the pope's decision "took us by surprise" – indicating even Benedict's closest aides did not know what he was thinking of doing, Reuters reports. His decision left aides "incredulous", the spokesman said.

Benedict will remain "in full charge" of the Catholic church until 7pm GMT on 28 February.

His resignation is fully in compliance with church law, Lombardi has said, and Benedict took the decision freely.

He is not resigning because of any "difficulties in the papacy". Benedict does not fear a schism in the church after he resigns.

Upon resigning, he will go to the papal summer residence near Rome, and then will move to a cloistered residence in the Vatican.

Benedict will not take part in the conclave to elect his successor, Lombardi says.

He expects a new pope to be elected before the end of March.

This better not be a joke.

CNN has it on the front page. Looks like it's legit.

First pope to resign in 600 years, apparently.

You'd think they'd consider this an act of heresy. I mean, isn't he Pope by the will of God?

I bet he could manage at least a few more years if he wouldn't wear the gigantic golden hat.

LobsterMobster wrote:
You'd think they'd consider this an act of heresy. I mean, isn't he Pope by the will of God?

I bet he could manage at least a few more years if he wouldn't wear the gigantic golden hat.


Nope, back in 1294, the Pope made a Papal decree that said Popes could resign, then resigned.

I'm waiting for the videos of people sobbing in the street. You know it's gonna happen....

Perhaps I'm being too cynical but I'm not buying the whole deteriorating health thing.... His only job is to wave to people like a glorified Wal-Mart greeter. Methinks there's something else going on.

It's like Pete Carroll leaving USC before the NCAA stepped in; maybe there's another series of molestation revelations coming, and it's time for him to head to the hills.

Honestly, he's old, and maybe he's aware his mind's going or something. I'm sure there's another reactionary old white guy out there more than willing to step in to the job.

Actually I had heard that his papacy was always meant to be transitional. The theory was that they'd throw an old, old dude up there to appease the severe conservatives while a more progressive pope was developed. Not sure how true that is, especially since I don't have any sources, but it would be nice if the Catholic Church leapt forward a couple of centuries in their attitudes. Less people would probably die.

Nevin73 wrote:
but it would be nice if the Catholic Church leapt forward a couple of centuries in their attitudes. Less people would probably die.

Sorry.. The words "leapt forward" and "Catholic Church" cannot exist together in the same sentence. The church advancing would push them even further off the cliff of irrelevance.

It seems possible to me he got medical information that he has dementia or something which convinced him that he might not be of sound mind in the future so he quit while he was able to make that decision.

The Catholic Church is the most resilient and longest lasting institution in human history. I've been a vocal opponent of Benedict (both verbally and monetarily) and am cautiously optimistic about a better direction for the Church.

Seth wrote:
The Catholic Church is the most resilient and longest lasting institution in human history. I've been a vocal opponent of Benedict (both verbally and monetarily) and am cautiously optimistic about a better direction for the Church.

Actually, the Egyptian monarchies lasted quite a bit longer; Catholic Church still has another 2000 years or so to go to catch up

I thought that, too, but really the Egyptian dynasties shifted every few hundred years and were overall much less coherent than the Catholic Church.

Seth wrote:
I thought that, too, but really the Egyptian dynasties shifted every few hundred years and were overall much less coherent than the Catholic Church.

I'm not sure I'd agree with that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipop...

But I just got done with not caring about a Royal Wedding in a nation my country broke away from 250 years ago. I need to start gearing up to not care about the religion I personally broke away from 16 years ago?

Nevin73 wrote:
Actually I had heard that his papacy was always meant to be transitional. The theory was that they'd throw an old, old dude up there to appease the severe conservatives while a more progressive pope was developed. Not sure how true that is, especially since I don't have any sources, but it would be nice if the Catholic Church leapt forward a couple of centuries in their attitudes. Less people would probably die.

I don't know. I can say that a very liberal Catholic friend of mine dropped a comment a few months back about his worries about what's going to happen with Church leadership when Benedict kicks the bucket. (Er. I'm paraphrasing. Obv.) Anyway, he sounded pretty concerned about the increasing trend of hard-line conservatism out of Africa.

Religious politics is the worst politics. Except for family politics. And work politics. But bigger.

I don't think dementia means you shouldn't be pope. Isn't hearing voices part of the job description?

Hearing voices is schizophrenia, SallyNasty.

Tanglebones wrote:
Seth wrote:
I thought that, too, but really the Egyptian dynasties shifted every few hundred years and were overall much less coherent than the Catholic Church.

I'm not sure I'd agree with that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipop...

Popes and anti-popes?

f*ckin' papacies, how do they work?

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Hearing voices is schizophrenia, SallyNasty. :)

It's ok. Sally probably just got confused and then forgot.

SallyNasty wrote:
I don't think dementia means you shouldn't be pope. Isn't hearing voices part of the job description?

You know this would be a very funny idea for a book.

Stengah wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
You'd think they'd consider this an act of heresy. I mean, isn't he Pope by the will of God?

I bet he could manage at least a few more years if he wouldn't wear the gigantic golden hat.


Nope, back in 1294, the Pope made a Papal decree that said Popes could resign, then resigned.

That was awfully convenient for him.

Yonder wrote:
Stengah wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
You'd think they'd consider this an act of heresy. I mean, isn't he Pope by the will of God?

I bet he could manage at least a few more years if he wouldn't wear the gigantic golden hat.


Nope, back in 1294, the Pope made a Papal decree that said Popes could resign, then resigned.

That was awfully convenient for him.


That's what you get when you give someone the ability to speak for God.

Where am I and who are you people?

JC wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
I don't think dementia means you shouldn't be pope. Isn't hearing voices part of the job description?

You know this would be a very funny idea for a book.

A few people did, but largely they just ripped off better authors without giving them credit. Kind of like Carlos Mencia.

SallyNasty wrote:
I don't think dementia means you shouldn't be pope.

Hey, it worked for the 40th President of the United States. Why not the Pope?

Yeah, this is crazy news. Back when I worked for the Church I found Ratzinger's writings on music and sacred liturgy to be a real inspiration, but nowadays my opinion of him runs along the much same lines as Andrew Sullivan's:

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/...

Also, this:

What fascinates me is whether he can now be prosecuted for “crimes against humanity” for having enabled and concealed the rape of countless children in an institution under his direct authority – from the moment in 2001 when every single sex abuse case went to his office at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to his decision to leave Marcial Maciel alone to keep raping the innocent and continued cover-ups even after the reality had been so brutally exposed.

To put it more bluntly: now that he is no longer protected from legal accountability as a head of state, can lawsuits proceed?

JC wrote:

Perhaps I'm being too cynical but I'm not buying the whole deteriorating health thing.... His only job is to wave to people like a glorified Wal-Mart greeter. Methinks there's something else going on.

Hey! That money was just resting in his account!

Man, a new Antipope would be sweet.

IMAGE(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/526659_160673757415708_538643506_n.png)

I was honestly surprised to find that this is such a rare occurrence.

I mean, people are, at some point, going to decline in health and die. Sometimes that's going to happen quickly, sometimes (and increasingly commonly with improvements in end-of-life care in modern times) it's going to be a long drawn-out event. At some point during that, the Pope won't be physically or mentally capable of carrying out the roles of his Papacy.

The fact that this is not a common occurrence suggests that in numerous occasions, the Catholic Church has done just fine without a functioning Pope, which suggests that the Pope is, in fact, superfluous to the running of the Catholic Church.

Which stands at odds with the notion of him being such an important fellow, does it not?

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