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The Pope Resigns
JohnH
Stating health reasons the pope has resigned. I am surprised no one has commented on this. I understand that as an atheist site most here could care less, but I have some reasons for interest.

In the past popes would always die in the position. According to what I have read the last pope to resign was 600 years ago and that was to stop a schism in the church. No pope since no matter how frail and/or demented has resigned. Why has this one. He has done all the correct things, allowing the bishop of Boston who covered up all sorts of pedophilia to retire to luxury, made a cardinal who had covered up pedophilia every where he served become something like the "guardian of the faith", reinforced the church's position that even birth control is a sin, chastised nuns for being too "uppity", generally behaving like a good pope should.

A model pope who could spend the rest of his life in bed and still have that direct connection to and power derived from god.

I am suspect of the reason given. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is being forced out. There is a lot of evidence that the influence of the church world wide is waning. Devotees are waning in all the developed countries. A telling example of the church's lost influence is that Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in europe. If you go to Rome you will note the large number of non european priests and nuns. Basically the church only has significant influence in developing countries.

The reasons for its lost influence in developed countries are obvious. The current pope has done nothing but exacerbate those reasons. I wonder if this is the reason for his resignation, or perhaps he started questioning the actions forced on him by the weight of church hierarchy.

The stated reason of age may be correct, I can accept that. I do find it hard to believe that for 600 years no other pope found age a reason to resign but this one did.
 
Cynic
I've been trying to wrap my mind around this myself. On the face of it, it seems perfectly sensible -- if you're not up for the job, retire and let someone more capable handle it. What bothers me is that absurd tradition of dying in office. I don't like to speculate but... wait, I LOVE to speculate. Here goes:

It could just mean that Ratzinger is simply a more modern person and is willing to shirk that particular tradition because of the harm it can do. The Church is in a perilous state; allowing it to become rudderless until he finally kicks it would be irresponsible. It's also worth noting that thanks to current medical technology, it's a lot longer to die if you have the means. Whatever damage such incidents caused the Church in past, the effect is likely to be magnified now.

Given the corruption he is supposedly very concerned about, it's possible he considers his mental decline to be more of a direct threat -- that someone could take advantage of him more easily and quitting protects the Church from that possibility.

Related to that, perhaps given such corruption he wants be able to prevent the wrong person from taking his place.

Personally, I suspect he just knows he's going to die and/or become very mentally infirm very soon and is protecting his legacy by not going out in a controversial way and also by adding himself to the history books by being the only one to do this since the 1400s.
 
Theory_Execution
It's also worth noting that thanks to current medical technology, it's a lot longer to die if you have the means.


This would be my understanding of it. 600 years ago you could expect most of them to die while their minds were still relatively sharp, the reality now is that is not the case, the body can out-last the mind.
 
seeker
I find myself wondering if it really makes a difference who the pope is. The pope is always a guy who is carefully chosen, you'll likely see very little difference between Ratzinger and the man who replaces him.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
JohnH
I totally agree seeker I do not care much one way or another but I still find the resignation interesting.

The chruch retains its wealth but its influence is waning. It makes one wonder if this may lead to concrete changes in its direction.

TE you are correct that many can physically outlive their brain, more so now than in the past. Still in the course of 600 years I have to believe that some popes did that. I suspect that often the popes who had gone mind dead were either allowed to die or were simply killed.

Damn I love the "only true church".
 
Theory_Execution
I think there is some truth in the Church moving to other shores. In the Western (read white) world, Catholicism is on the way out (due in part to the publicity of its barbaric acts of child abuse) whereas in the developing world (read black/brown) it is strong, because education is so lacking, and the threat of death from disease and other sources is still so strong.

So are they pushing him out to move in a darker complexioned, mother continent cardinal to start a strong revival in the developing nations?

Either way, humanity loses with every day they continue as an institution claiming a direct line to the divine.
 
Cynic
Possibly speculatory, but....

http://www.examin...ld-be-near
 
seeker
Now that is a trial that I would love to see happen. I doubt though that even if the pope were arrested and tried that he would be convicted.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
All falling to pieces around this. The leading UK Catholic has been forced to resign over claims of sexual harassment of other priests! Pfff amateur, he should have raped the congregation, they don't mind that.
 
Skeeve
How any self-respecting person can all themselves Catholic is beyond me.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
Okay, you used self-respect and Catholic in the same sentence. I'm pretty sure self respect is out the window the moment they kneel in front of the guy wearing a dress and swallow whatever he puts in their mouth.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Photon
seeker wrote:

Okay, you used self-respect and Catholic in the same sentence. I'm pretty sure self respect is out the window the moment they kneel in front of the guy wearing a dress and swallow whatever he puts in their mouth.


Well, to be fair, the "unleavened bread" wafer is pretty tasty, it kind of melts in your mouth.

Not that delicious processed food-like wafers excuses Ratzinger's ruby slippers, or his avoidance to bring abusers to justice.
Edited by Photon on 03/04/2013 03:30
 
seeker
Yeah but then he tells you it was God's meat.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
JohnH
Well the church has responded, with another socially conservative pope. And, according to this he turned his back when two members of his own sect (the jesuits) were jailed when he was head of the church in Argentina.

www.counterpunch....

As an aside the local CBS affiliate spent almost 10 minutes of their 30 minute evening news on this event. As if it meant something to the majority of its viewers.
 
Skeeve
I am so tired of hearing "we have a new pope" from newscasters.

"We" don't, you stupid fucks...the Catholics do.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
Let me know when he competes on Dancing With The Stars.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
The only thing these heads of churches deserve to been seen dancing in, is the hot embers of a roaring fire.
 
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