VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
The 85-year-old pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.I've got to give props to Pope Benedict here. Being Pope is like being Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, Tom Brady, and Babe Ruth rolled into one. It's a gig with lots of bennies, you know? For him to step down from such a prestigious position, to step aside knowing that he's not capable of being the best leader he can be, that's pretty amazing. It's also a good sign that he was the right choice for the job, as he's willing and able to put the position ahead of himself. There's a lesson there.
I want to know, though, what one does after retiring from Pope. Does he move to Florida and play shuffleboard? Since this is the first time a Pope has stepped down in six centuries it's not like they've got little Papal retirement villa - it's typically a lifetime gig. Will they afford him round-the-clock protection? I would imagine there's enough nutcases out there to warrant a guard. Do they have a more subdued hat for him to wear? Inquiring minds want to know!
Yeah, I'm going to smoke a turd in purgatory for this...
That is all.