Monday, February 11, 2013
Let The Rumors Begin
Pope Benny, a.k.a. Joe Ratzinger, is packing it in. The first pope to resign since the medieval period, the 85-year old has given barely two weeks notice. He's out on February 28th. Word is the Vatican has already contacted the temp agencies.
The pope blames the ravages of old age for his decision, claiming he's just not up to the job mentally or physically.
Let the rumors begin.
Update: This didn't take long. Der Spiegel reports that Vatican intrigue and internal power struggles may have prompted Benny to bail.
...it seems likely that the move also came out of the realization that he no longer had complete control of the church. During the so-called "Vatileaks" affair last year, secret documents and letters were smuggled out of the Vatican over a period of months. They bore witness to intrigue and a shocking power struggle among top Catholic cardinals. Pope Benedict XVI has been unable to put a stop to it. Nor was he able to reform the Vatican Bank following a series of obscure deals apparently aimed at money laundering.
The pope has "suffered greatly under certain elements that come with the office," Max Seckler, a long-time friend of Ratzinger's, told the German news agency DPA. "It is difficult to imagine the degree of intrigue that is present in Rome." Seckler, 85, said that he has wondered for years how much longer his friend could stand the strain.
But Benedict, who holds a Ph.D. in theology, has also had difficulties addressing other issues facing the church. He has proven unable to adequately deal with the seemingly unending series of sex abuse scandals that has shaken Catholic institutions around Europe and the world in recent years. Furthermore, his hard-line stance on faith has done little to slow down the widening cleft between today's believers and the Vatican. Huge numbers have left the church in recent years, particularly in well-off dioceses in Europe and the United States as Rome has become increasingly inflexible in its orthodoxy under Ratzinger's leadership.