A pope hasn’t resigned in 600 years. Hmmm….
Citing advanced years and infirmity, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the Roman Catholic world on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28 after less than eight years in office, the first pope to do so in six centuries.
Via NY Times reports:
After examining his conscience “before God,” he said in a statement on Monday that reverberated around the world on the Internet and social media sites, “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise” of his position as head of the world’s one billion Roman Catholics.
A profoundly conservative figure whose papacy was overshadowed by clerical abuse scandals, Benedict, 85, was elected by fellow cardinals in 2005 after the death of his predecessor, John Paul II.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the pope would continue to carry out his duties until Feb. 28 and a successor could probably be elected by Easter, which falls this year on March 31. But, he added, the timing for an election of a new pope “not an announcement, it’s a hypothesis.”
The church he inherited was in crisis, the sexual-abuse scandal being its most vivid manifestation. It was an institution run by a largely European hierarchy overseeing a faithful — one billion strong — largely residing in the developing world. And it was increasingly being torn between its ancient, insular ways and the modern world.
For the church’s liberal elements, rather than being the answer to that crisis, Benedict’s election represented the problem: an out-of-step conservative European academic. Many wondered if he would be a mere caretaker, filling the post after the long papacy of the beloved John Paul until a younger, more dynamic heir could be elevated.
A Vatican spokesman said, “It’s taken us a bit by surprise. We’ve had to organize ourselves very quickly.
Let’s pray the successor has not only more intellectual competence but will also have greater moral fiber. The scandal of avoiding defrocking pedos and their enablers undermined the ethical character of the Roman Catholic denomination.
Jesus come and get your boy!