Monday, February 11, 2013

A 600 Year First...

Pope to resign Feb. 28, says he's too infirm
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.

20 comments:

Teke said...

Jay I think that is the million dollar question. What does a retired Pope do?
Book signing tours and Photo Ops?

What scares me is the call for a progressive pope to replace him.

Brad_in_MA said...

Teke,

A Boston-area talk show host this morning was expressing similar concern about the next Pope being of the left-leaning progressive variety, possibly coming from Africa or Central/South America. Time will tell.

As for Benedict, he retains his title of Cardinal but because he's past 80 years of age is no longer a voting member of the College of Cardinals. Guess that makes him Cardinal & Pope Emeritus.

- Brad

Anonymous said...

I've read somewhere in the press, not sure where but he'd 'retire' to the Vatican monastery, where he'd still obviously receive some protection but I wager he'd live in seclusion for the most part.
I'm not the religious or praying type but I am praying they don't have a progressive/left leaning. Which is my fear about some of the perhaps 'younger' members of the college of cardinals from which the conclave and the eventual Pontiff would be selected from.


-Singing Detective.

Maura said...

It’s a tremendously brave act for him to step forward and admit he is not strong enough to lead. No Pope in 600 years has done so; they’ve all died in office. He has my admiration for being so devoted to his Church. He knows now the Church needs a strong leader, and he is man enough to say he is no longer the man for the job. Quite extraordinary. He’s in my prayers.

That being said - if he is too infirm to continue being the Pontiff...I don't believe he will be around much longer to "enjoy" his retirement ( though the idea of the Pop playing shuffleboard and playing canasta amuses me ).

Maura said...

Pope, not Pop. *rolls eyes*

Ancient Woodsman said...

I believe that the latin word for a retired Pontiff is "secola".

He will thus be refered to as "Pope Secola".



Yes, I know. Not in a handbasket, but on the express bus.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure he gets a discount on an Burger King franchise...says so on a stained glass window.

Dave H said...

Maybe he'll do like retired star athletes, and get a job doing color commentary on EWTN. (I'd say save me a toke Jay, but where I come from Purgatory's not an option.)

I agree with the group here. He's showing real backbone and love for the Church by handing off to someone more able. Not to mention trust for the cardinals who'll elect his successor.

As for a more progessive Pope, don't they always talk about that when it's time to choose a new one? I think I remember that same muttering when Benedict was elected. There's always a vocal minority who wants change, and aren't afraid to stump for it.

FrankC said...

I suspect, but with no backup, that he was elected Pope because he was the eldest cardinal at the time.
If you're not sure who to elect then go for the oldest then vote again a few years later.
Just how long did the last election take? My google-fu is not strong enough.

acairfearann said...

Cloistered monastery I would imagine. I hope that he can enjoy a few years working on theology, which by all accounts he enjoys.
It does take guts, but I pray it doesn't create chaos in the Church.

Old NFO said...

I seem to remember he was ready to retire when he was elected. Good for him, and they are saying sequestered in the Vatican with the nuns.

Bob said...

I should point out that all of the Cardinals in the conclave that will pick the next pope were selected by John Paul II or Benedict XVI himself, so the possibility of an outright libeliberal like John XXIII being selected is pretty slim.

Mikael said...

Maybe they'll give him his old pedophile protection gig again.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I'd say that the chances of a leftist from Latin America getting in as Pope are next to impossible. There's too strong a tie-in with Liberation theology in Latin America, and with the legacy of the last pope's fight against communism, Liberation theology flies in the face of that.

Glenn B said...

The Pope officially will retire to the Vatican Monastery; however it is rumored that he will be secretly transported to the Sisters of The Magadalene nunnery to enjoy his retirement.

Maura said...

I think Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada is almost a lock for next Pope. He's young, articulate, extremely well liked, speaks a dozen languages fluently, he is the present prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and concurrently president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He's all that and a bag of chips.

Mikael said...

There's a couple of african cardinals that are deemed more likely candidates.

Which I'd like to see honestly, a black pope. Mostly because it'd be a first.

BenC said...

I guess its up to me to be the cynic with the tin foil hat, but when I heard this I couldn't help but suspect a vatican coup with him stepping down to prevent some scandal coming to light.

Stretch said...

He's gonna be General Manager of the Arizona Cardinals.

Stolen from by friend Jack F.

Mikael said...

BenC: I doubt it, they didn't sufficiently care when it came out that he's spent decades protecting pedophiles.