questionshave you heard the pope is resigning?

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My gf told me earlier and I refused to believe her. I guess I can understand why he would want to resign, 85 is pretty far up there. However, when you are ordained by God to lead a billion people, you would think you would have a far greater sense of duty to at least give more than a 2 weeks notice. I really have no knowledge of what he has done because since he has taken the papacy I have stopped being Catholic, but I assume he has been a fraction of the impact that JP2 had.

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I bet there's some scandal we haven't heard about yet. Call me jaded.

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@ptucker2: The church went from Hero to zero witht his guy. They need another Pole in there!

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@eraten: My understanding is that the smart money is on an African cardinal. It's the continent with the largest potential source of converts, while Europeans continue to leave the church in droves.

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I remember that when Pope Benedict was ordained, the comment was made that he was going to be a "transitional" pope. I think the theory was that Pope John Paul II was such a great and well-liked pope, that his successor would surely pale in comparison (It's the old, never be the guy that follows THE guy, theory). Now, the next pope will not be living in the shadow of John Paul II and will have a much better chance of having a successful papacy.

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Is the Pope Polish? No...well he should be!!

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@ptucker2: I'm sorry to hear that you left the Church, but to each their own.

I personally respect this, and even the timing. Lent is about to begin, and having a new Pope to celebrate Easter Sunday will be both symbolic and significant for many reasons. Pope Benedict has left his mark; under his leadership the English translations of the mass were unified and, as expected due to his previous post, doctrine was confirmed and upheld.

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@rayray8822: OK...you are jaded....and so am I! Odds are any scandal will be so heavily covered up that we will never know.

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@ki4rxm: Still a Christian (a better one than before without a doubt) just not Catholic. :) Doctrine of the Church and I don't really get along, but this is not the time or place for that.

One of the things that drove me away was the fact that mass, although unified, changed so drastically. I found it unnecessary. I do agree that the symbolism will be massive for Easter and hope the next Pope has an even greater impact.

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@ptucker2: I understand; my brother- and sister-in-law are about to open up their own nondenominational worship center. Still not sure what to think about that, other than thinking that at least they'll hopefully be bringing more folks into the Christian faith. Haha, and if you thought this change was big, you should have been around for Vatican II.

And to bring this back on topic, that is another thing that Pope Benedict has done: Vatican II was a swing "out" and now the pendulum seems to be swinging "back". Hopefully the next Pope will stabilize it.

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I had read an article many months ago that cardinals were being assigned to pick his successor. So I guess this doesn't come as a surprise. Though I would think there would be more notice and opportunity for transition, since he will actually be alive to facilitate it. I do not think he enjoys the same adoration as his predecessor, but I have no knowledge of his policies or influences.

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The Lenten Season is near...time to consider what you will be giving up for Lent.

Pope: "I'm giving up being Pope".

Damn. That's hardcore right there.

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Two weeks notice is two weeks longer than any other Pope has given in the last 600 years, so it's hard to hold that against him. And once he made the announcement, it would be silly to have him wait 6 months or a year before actually standing down - there's always an interregnum of a few weeks when a Pope dies before a Conclave can come together to elect a successor, but in this modern age, two weeks gives enough time for the necessary arrangements to be made, without dragging the process out longer than necessary.

One thing that Pope Benedict has done is to make the resignation of a Pope more acceptable in the future. With advances in modern medicine, it is increasingly likely that future Popes will survive into their dotage, and may not be up to the job. By explicitly stating that he is resigning while "well aware of the seriousness of this act", he has made it possible for future frail Popes to step aside.

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I'd imagine you wouldn't want a long "lame duck" period where the Pope has said he's resigning but still wears the mantle. Like the other cynics in the group, my first thought was that there was some scandal. But my next thought was health. He may have gotten some bad news from his doctor, and not all illnesses have the good grace to kill us in a timely fashion. For example, if he's suffering the onset of Alzheimer's or senile dementia he could do devastating harm to the papacy and the church before dying. So he may be making a very responsible choice.

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I don't blame the guy. Who would wanna work at 85 years old? He probably just wants to go hang out on the beach.

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It's hard to imagine a scandal big enough to rock this guy out of his hat considering how little he cared for the fallout of the past fifteen or so years. What could possibly be worse?

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It's exhausting trying to cover up for all those pedophile priests, while claiming the high ground.

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@rayray8822: Yeah, you're jaded. Health problems. Dementia is a very common problem. He knows it and decided to step down. Smart man.

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@bnbsouthworth: "I had read an article many months ago that cardinals were being assigned to pick his successor. "

I don't know what the article said, but that doesn't sound quite right. Cardinals need not be "assigned" to choose, as all cardinals under the age of eighty vote in the papal conclave (unless ill health prevents them traveling to Rome). If you meant "appointed", new cardinals are appointed whenever their predecessors retire, die, or are reassigned.