People on social media have been on all sides of pope quitting issue. OKAY. I admit it. No. As far as I know, Ratzinger doesn't have a long-lost love-child waiting in the wings...but wouldn't that be awesome?!
The last time a pope resigned, the United States didn't even exist, so I was automatically intrigued. Once I heard the (non-) reason given, I was even more curious... But I assumed others might need more motivation to click...
The Pope said (or at least the Vatican said the Pope said...):
"Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me"
In the Meantime...
After the pope announced his resignation, Rachel Maddow cited a Church memo, explaining what will happen to him, according to protocol. He will leave the Vatican, go to the Papal summer house, and wait for his special Vatican Enclave to be built. Sweet golden parachute, right?
"Lightning struck the St. Peter's Basilica Monday, hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign"
Uhh...Is this thing on?
I can't help but wonder why this isn't a HUGE blow to the wall of ignorance that is Faith. To be clear, I meant Ratzinger quitting, NOT the hilarious coincidence of the lightning striking. Although, I should stop to note the hypocrisy of what qualifies as A SIGN for believers. When the United States finally legalizes same-sex marriage, if the Washington Monument is struck by lightning that night (or within the next month), you WILL hear about it. It will be an obvious sign of God's disappointment. Yet, ST. PETER'S BASILICA is struck (twice) within hours, and it's interesting trivia... but I digress.
Sleeping on the Job!
Does everyone remember the last Pope?!?
Growing up, I have vivid memories of my mom (not even slightly Catholic) adding "poor sight" to "The Pope" so often, I thought that was part of his title. THAT guy had "deteriorated." He was practically knocking on Death's door for years.
While Ratzinger does share that humorous, slightly endearing talent for falling asleep in church... I don't think he is sick enough to warrant a resignation from the papacy. I'm no doctor. The only reason I say that is because I don't think such a category exists.
After all, isn't that part of becoming POPE? Everyone knows you're going to become old and decrepit. In fact, you're probably most of the way there when you get the job. Like Supreme Court Justice, it's one of the few gigs where there are no term limits and no one can vote you out! You just sit back and look pretty (not to be confused with slouching forward and looking pretty, like Benedict up there).
This pope was only in for what? Less than a decade?!
That's NOTHING in Pope-years! No, I'm not buying the illness crap.
And you shouldn't either...
The Real Story?
So, what's probably going on? I doubt you'd need 3 guesses...
In addition to a homicidal maniac ex-cop problem, the Los Angeles area has also had recent, public issues with child-raping Catholics. These problems reach ALL the way back to St. Peter's and the pope's desk. An elaborate ploy to avoid prosecution and accountability for child rapists? Yes. That seems to be more of a likely concern for Ratzinger than arbitrary illness or genuine remorse.
-Susie Madrak (2/12/2013) : Is Pope Benedict's Abdication Tied To L.A. Sex Scandals?
-Christopher Hitchens (2010): The Great Catholic Cover-Up: The pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it
There's definitely more to the story...
Whatever you do, don't believe the Church.