Yeah technodad, the Vatican is out of touch with reality tbh......and I think the grass roots know it. I am very anti the advice regarding contraception and I think they are wrong. I also have no problem saying so. I think they have backtracked a bit regarding condoms with the Pope saying last year that in an emergency to prevent disease (so that's every time then) they could be used. The papers went wild and stared saying "Pope says contraception is okay" after hitch they backtracked furiously again. Our local Priest says they have backed themselves into a corner now....I think he is right.
And the Catholic would answer that maybe he was meant to serve for only a few years. I don't think the Pope is chosen by God (as I'm not Catholic), but I also don't think that being chosen by God necessarily means he intends you to serve in the position for life.
I feel very sorry for him. I think it has been a heavy burden for him and not something that he really ever welcomed. I hope they elect someone younger and Pope Benedict lives out the remainder of his life in peace