Benedict’s Taking a Powder

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VATICAN CITY — Citing advanced years and infirmity, but showing characteristic tough-mindedness and unpredictability, Pope Benedict XVI shocked Roman Catholics on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in six centuries.

Being an Italian by descent, I happen to be a Catholic (albeit a lingering one) by default. There was a time when a papal move like this would’ve gone bang throughout the ecclesiastical world; but, despite the media attention, I suspect that barely a whimper is heard in the real world. Popes aren’t supposed to resign until they die; the last pope to throw in the towel being Pope Gregory XII in 1415 amidst the Western Schism.

From the start, Benedict was coolly received in his coolly assumed Holy Father role. I have nothing against Joseph Ratzinger personally (nothing that I know of, that is), but I have a lot against the Church. While this pope is the first in six centuries to resign, the Church has often overlooked just as many centuries (and many more) of intrigue and corruption which may explain why it’s so practiced in overlooking it today.

A scandalous, hypocritical state of affairs that has appalled more and more people (Catholics and non-Catholics alike), making the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholicism an object of scorn and ridicule…regardless of who’s pope.

Pope Benedict XVI Says He Will Resign – NYTimes.com.

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