Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To wonder if there's more to the Popes resignation than meets the eye?

(150 Posts)
KenAdams Mon 11-Feb-13 11:26:59

The lack of notice just seems somewhat odd.

BalloonSlayer Mon 11-Feb-13 13:26:26

Being a Pope is not a calling. Indeed I imagine it is a job you need to be seen to be reluctant to do otherwise you're not humble enough. This Pope was quite reluctant IIRC. Being a PRIEST is a calling - and he won't stop being a priest.

mrsjay there IS an explanation. He is not in good enough health.

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:26:58

Another note to the Catholic Church along with avoiding Nazis, nonce enablers and zealots. Try picking someone who isn't an old gimmer when they get the gig. Also someone who realises it isn't 1537 anymore would be great too.

It saves a lot of gagging around in St Peters with smoke signals.

Sallyingforth Mon 11-Feb-13 15:45:12

Yes. They should take note of the new Archbishop of Canterbury - a relatively young man who hasn't spent his whole life within the confines of the church.

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:50:16

yes, but it was depressing that the new Archbishop's first move was to condemn gay marriage.

sigh

Sallyingforth Mon 11-Feb-13 16:10:42

I thought that was slightly surprising TBH.

Historically, it's not unusual to make a relatively young man Archibishop of Canterbury, and for him to retire. The Pope is usually old because it is usually a job that ends with his death.

Someone just showed me the link to him reading out the annoucement (scroll down):

www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/02/11/pope_benedict_xvi_resignation_announcement_video_pope_announces_he_is_stepping.html

He is stumbling over the words and sounds exhausted.

Astley Mon 11-Feb-13 18:31:50

I think the Pope is a wonderful man. He has given his life to the Church and now feels he cannot be the Pope the Church needs with his declining health so has stepped aside.

He is not selfish or egotistical enough to try and cling on for every last second. He wants to step down before he stops being able to do the job properly.

Maybe now people can shut up about hm being in the Hitler Youth against his will, at 14... Maybe he can now just be left alone.

Erm ... while I don't know the pope personally, so can't have the insight into his character others might, I am not sure that him resigning makes it absolutely A-OK that he was in the Hitler Youth, to the point no-one should ever discuss it again. hmm

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:16

Or that wholly messy business about the paedophile priest he covered up for and allowed to continue to abuse children. Ask them who 'wonderful' he is, or the millions who have been infected with HIV due to the Papacy's absurd position on contraceptives, or the many more forced into cycle of unwanted pregnancy for years on end.

Doddery old bigot.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 11-Feb-13 19:09:16

Astley Mon 11-Feb-13 18:31:50

I think the Pope is a wonderful man.

Yeah, lovely bloke, when he was plain old Cardinal Ratburger (sic) he was in charge of covering up child abuse. As Pope he said child abuse was seen as normal in the '60s.

Like I said, lovely bloke.

Sokmonsta Mon 11-Feb-13 19:10:34

I'm a suspicious person too. Popes generally get elected upon the death of another.

For something like this I'm thinking its a case of 'resign or we will go public with [whatever isn't compatible with being pope].

VeryDullNameChange Mon 11-Feb-13 19:12:08

Ratzinger was in a better position than anyone to see that JPII's choice of personal martyrdom by serving to the bitter end, whilst spiritually laudable, came at a great practical cost to the church. Seems plausible to me that he would have decided that he couldn't make that choice.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 11-Feb-13 19:13:18

I reckon he is probably about to die.... and doesn't want the media circus of JP2s last weeks..... although no Pope has resigned for about 600 years there is nothign that says they have to go on until death.

NEver liked this Pope, far too old fashioned.

Bobyan Mon 11-Feb-13 19:15:36

Compos I nearly choked myself to death on a hobnob laughing at the family comment!

'Doddery old bigot' has such a nice ring to it. grin

TCOB Mon 11-Feb-13 19:40:25

Will people please do their homework on Hitler Youth? It was compulsory, okay? Great to know you're all so strong you wouldn't have joined yadda yadda - sure WW2 wouldn't have happened had some of you been around.

TCOB - do your own homework. It is valid to discuss Hilter Youth. I think it is disrespectful to the memory of people like Pastor Niemoller to suggest that religious people can't be arsed to opt out of a compulsory activity.

wigglesrock Mon 11-Feb-13 20:22:19

Yes but Pastor Niemoller was a man during the war, Joseph Ratzinger was a child, there is a difference. And I find it really disrespectful to suggest that young men who were forced to join Hitler Youth just couldn't be arsed to "opt out"

Oh, certainly, I do agree there was a difference, but I will admit it got me angry that someone thinks it's ok to suggest we shouldn't even discuss it.

I apologize for my choice of words, that was out of line, you are right.

DM, who loves all things Catholic, says he advised JP II to step down when his health had significantly declined. Benedict is not allowed to travel far on doctor's orders so its hard to see how he could really be a significant figure in world politics if he can't get around. I wouldn't be surprised if he has cancer or some other serious health problem and if he resigns there is a bit of notice to prepare his successor rather than him dying and them having to do it quickly.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 11-Feb-13 20:38:20

Ratzinger was actually the first person in the Vatican to take the child abuse scandal seriously. He requested the job of investigating it. For example, he went directly against JPII's personal feelings regarding Father Marciel Maciel of the Legions of Christ. Everybody - including JPII - thought this guy was a saint and he was actually a sociopath who did unspeakable things and basically ran an abusive cult. He defied everyone in the hierarchy and exposed the guy.

He requested the task of dealing with the scandal, read every single word of every report, and took it seriously when others wanted to keep their heads in the sand. (Something it seems everyone does in every organization, from the BBC to the Boy Scouts of America.)

I don't think he'd quit over a scandal. I think he's used to that and would be willing to take whatever lumps he has coming. I think it's poor health. He may know something - dementia, cancer, brain tumour, something like that - that means he's not going to be able to do the job any longer.

JPII did a beautiful thing with his life and death. He lived a beautiful witness to the dignity of all human life and showed what a true "happy death" looks like: it's not pretty, it's not painless, but it has its own inherent dignity because it embraces the suffering of Christ. That was JPII's calling. His cross and his charism. But it may not be what Benedict is called to do.

2beornot Mon 11-Feb-13 20:59:48

I'm torn. I am naturally cynical but I'm wondering if it is an illness tbh. Seeing my nan with dementia, there is no way someone could carry on in such a position. Even JP II was well enough to recite pre written words at mass or Urbi et Orbi. There is no way my nan could do that. On the other hand, it's the timing that bothers me. Lent is the most sacred time in the Catholic calendar and I can't see why he would leave the Church leaderless (if only for a number of days) unless he had to.

TCOB Mon 11-Feb-13 21:13:56

LRD it can be discussed until the cows come home, no problem with that. But don't you dare dismiss the experiences of those who were pressured into it, whoses families were threatened, whose parents were imprisoned, who had to join Hitler Youth as young and vulnerable people. Membership is NOT synonymous with Nazi-ism. My post says NOTHING about not discussing it, simply that anyone now who pretends they would not have joined is utterly delusional. Please re-quote where I said not to discuss it?

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 21:27:55

Bloody hell Katy do you work for the Vatican's press office?

I admit that I tend to err on the cynical when it comes to organised religion and with the Catholic Church in particular, but surely you are being a bit one eyed.

He requested the task of dealing with the scandal, read every single word of every report, and took it seriously when others wanted to keep their heads in the sand.

Which seems acomplete change from his attitude in the 80s when he knowingly allowed a child abuser to work in his Bishopric. That goes way beyond 'head in the sand' that is criminally negligent. I have nothing but contempt for the man and the office he holds.

Veritate Mon 11-Feb-13 21:29:11

From another forum:

I'm hoping he comes out with a statement like "After some thought, I came to the conclusion that I've wasted my life. This religion lark is a load of old bollocks, so I therefore urge everyone to chill out and enjoy life. Feel free to use condoms and enjoy sex, regardless if your partner is male or female. It's all cool. One love, brothers and sisters!"

smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now