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Pope Benedict to retire

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by pplr, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    :pope:

    The Pope is retiring. As a practicing Catholic I figure I'll pay more attention to this than most people.


    This is *not* a typical thing since most Popes are in need of a funeral and/or burial after the typical mode of retirement.

    It was a surprise to me this morning. I suspect there is a combination effect of emotional drains of the job, scandals surfacing, and some sort of debilitating disease.

    What do you think? Do you care? Do you think there will be some kind of window opened up or not?
     
  2. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    My wife and her family are very Catholic, so I'll be following this. Even despite that, I do find the whole thing fascinating. No Pope has resigned in almost 600 years.

    If this was truly for health reasons, I think he would have stated flatly what his ailment was. The announcement was fairly vague. I'm not necessarily saying it's uncredible - he is 85, after all - just that infirmity has never prevented any other Pope from continuing his duties. John Paul II was so frail he could barely stand for more than a minute, but he kept at it until the end. So this is a very big deal.

    My guess would be that a scandal is about to surface. In all likelyhood, one related to sexual abuse by Catholic priests, though not necessarily with Ratzinger personally. But that's just my early guess. Quite certainly I HOPE that's not the case. If he genuinely is stepping down because he no longer believes he can do the job that he believes God has called him to do, that's as commendable as it is remarkable.

    EDIT: The translated resignation text:
    Dear Brothers,

    I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

    However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both 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. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

    Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

    From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
     
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  4. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Bet he had his hand in the cookie jar.
     
  5. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    You know, Barmy, I'm ashamed to say that was my thought too. I thought that perhaps the butler had managed to leak something truly interesting / destructive to someone willing to use it.

    I mean, there is zero evidence for that thought. I'd like to believe the best aboout people and think that maybe he's just really tired and ill and wants to make the transition to his successor as smooth as possible.

    But I wouldn't be surprised if my first thought turned out to be true.
     
  6. Arkite

    Arkite Crash or crash through Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    John Paul II was always going to be a hard act to follow
     
  7. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    As a protestant, I have nothing with popes, but I find this intriguing. The RCC is big and all over the world. A pope is a big man and it's an important job.

    JP2 was a pope who knew how to bring news. Benedictus XVI was nothing like that. He is a very intelligent theologian, but no actor.

    I'm intentionally naive and choose to believe that there is no surfacing scandal and that he resigned indeed for the reasons he's given us: That he is no longer fit to do the job. That is, like DR said, very commendable.

    Last time a pope voluntarily stepped down was in 1294. That's 719 years ago.
    That cardinal from Ghana seems nice, Peter Turkson. And he's only 64.
     
  8. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Commentators on NPR yesterday said that the Pope distinctly remembers the way everything ground down when John Paul was near the end of his days. The contention was that for several years prior to his death, the office of the pope in reality hardly accomplished any significant business because he was basically too infirm to handle most of it or to even rubberstamp it--and Benedict doesn't want to do that to the office. That seems understandable to me. I'm not aware of specific problems that Benedict may have, but most other sizeable and important organizations across the globe, whether businesses or governments, don't normally keep individuals with mental infirmities "on the job," so to speak.

    I'm basically an aetheist who used to be a Protestant, so I don't understand the nuances of what is going on behind the scenes in Rome. It is interesting though; I was surprised yesterday at work as to how many people spoke about it. I had no idea most of these people were religious at all, let alone were Catholics.
     
  9. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Looks like the Vatican are going to have to open.........wait for it..............

    An old popes home

    (I'm sorry, that was dreadful. I'll get my coat and let myself out)
     
  10. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Infallible. Chosen by God. But jacks it in when he's had enough.

    The latest in a long line of ludicrous happenings within what should be a totally discredited institution. And yet people still follow the thing. Totally beyond me.
     
  11. Dice

    Dice ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Duck and cover before the scandal becomes apparent. Pope's aren't supposed to resign.
     
  12. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Dice likes this.
  13. nzdawghaus

    nzdawghaus Something Random Resourceful

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    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  14. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The Pope is infallible only when he is speaking infallibly. In other words, everything the Pope says is not infallible, only those things which he states are infallible are. When a specific man is no longer Pope, he no longer can speak infallibly.

    There is no issue with that.
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Given that historically a number of popes were everything from murderers and rapists to pedophiles, sadists, profiteers and criminals of various sorts, infallibility is probably the easier to swallow the less you know about the Church.

    Frankly, how anyone who knows anything about the history of the Catholic Church can retain any respect for it is beyond me. But if you combine historical knowledge with all the scandals uncovered in the last few years... I honestly believe that if God came down today, he wouldn't want to come anywhere near Vatican. Or rather, the first thing he'd do is level every Catholic palace with the ground.
     
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  16. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Tal, I'm a practicing Catholic and earned my undergrad in History.

    Now why would I choose to be Catholic? Because it Catholicism still does good in the world, I actually appreciate how historical the RCC is, and that it is run by humans-who are capable of doing good and bad (including horrid) things.

    There are terrible things relating to the past of Organized (yes each have been organized) Christianity, Islam, and Atheism. Yet rational and friendly people can follow any of them.


    Has the RCC been involved in terrible things in the past (like the Inquisition which saw men, women, and children tortured and murdered often for just disagreeing on something). Yes.

    Does it still do such stuff? No.

    Are there other things it has been involved in more recently? Yes.

    There have been coverups over sexual abuse not to mention homophobia and sexism.


    But that doesn't mean that the RCC doesn't also do good. Catholic Charities aid the poor. Catholic schools sometimes provide the best education available to an area. Parishes provide an anchor of community for many people.

    Plus, even thought there are times I go more out of duty than desire there are times at Mass when I am struck by something worthwhile in a song or priest's sermon.

    I happen to belong to what I think of as a good parish. Even if the Pope or a representative Catholicism said something I find dumb, disturbing, or embarrassing I don't want to walk away from it. If I moved I may visit the parishes in an area to see if I could find one like it.

    One of the things I like about the RCC is that its long history means a number of people have likely thought over a topic. I don't always agree with the conclusion arrived at but I appreciate that a serious look was given to it.



    Also (though I admit this isn't highly advertised) there is a short list of things somewhere that one really should believe to be Catholic. Anything else and a Catholic who really feels his or her position is the more moral one (not I feel like doing ____ today so I'm going to, but seriously thought about it and come to an understanding) then they can disagree the Church position and it is ok.

    One of other things I like about the RCC is that it is so big that, in spite of the hierarchy, there is room to disagree. I think some of the people here have heard of me dividing up the RCC into groups of liberals, conservatives, and medievalists (people I half joking say would prefer a return to medieval times). I think we all live with people we disagree with to some extent. How many of you renounce your citizenship if people belonging to a political party you disagree with win the Presidency or a majority in Parliament & become Prime Minister? My guess is not many.


    Just to point out the Church realized how dangerous it was to say the Pope is infallible on must anything and came up the point that by tradition the Pope doesn't usually use it and thus should not make a practice of it.



    I think I still have ashes on my forehead from the joint Catholic/Lutheran service done in the church I usually go to. The sermon was given by the Lutheran pastor who repeated something inspiring a person in her church said.

    If I ever stopped being Catholic I would probably become a member of the branch of Lutheranism she is part of. But I still choose to be Catholic and am largely happy with that decision.
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    pplr, I still consider myself a Catholic (at least more than an atheist), but I don't really want to have anything to do with the Church as an institution. I know well enough that it still does a lot of good in the world, but I also believe that they still do a lot of bad unnecessarily today and the emphasis on profit as one of the Church's occupations disgusts me (just recently, thousands of people here have lost all of their savings investing in companies completely or partially owned by one of the dioceses here which has gone bankrupt, not to mention that the Church owns vast tracts of land, forests real-estate here in addition to untold monetary wealth). All the while receiving millions of tax-payer money every year. There's nothing Christian about any of that.

    In relatively recent history, during WW2, there were plenty of priests, bishops and even a pope who were happy to collaborate with the Nazis, or at least didn't try to oppose Hitler in any real way. For the last few decades that neither America nor Europe have been involved in any major wars on their own soil, it's easy to say "oh, but the Church isn't like that any more". But you can't judge the real character of a person or an institution in such relaxed historical circumstances (which humanity has never seen before on such a global scale) but by how they reacted throughout history when the circumstances were not so beneficial. Believing that it couldn't or wouldn't happen again is, in my opinion, hopelessly optimistic.

    I do realize that Americans, being much further away from the Vatican and the actual influence of the Church here will have a different perspective simply because they didn't see or experience any of what I'm talking about first-hand. So I wouldn't be surprised if your branch of the Church was more trustworthy than ours.

    But this is my personal view, some Catholics do get bothered about these things, some don't and some can ignore them in favour of the greater good that the Church does. I just can't. If there were any Protestant churches near here, it's far more likely I'd be there.
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    The Catholic Church may have been instituted by God, but it's run by fallible people -- just like every other religion out there, mine included. As for the pedophilia scandal, I don't think any other organization (religious or secular) would have reacted much better than the Catholics did. That's no excuse, to be sure, but to call them out without acknowledging that fact is unfair in the extreme.

    That on topic comment aside, I have to tell you, Tal, when I read your last post, I thought of the Holy Grail and the princess with her "huge . . . tracts of land!" :evil:
     
  19. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree. There's no good way to handle a pedophilia scandal. Just ask Penn State. However, I think the argument against the Church is that many of the priests never faced any type of punishment for their actions. (Granted some of the abuses stretched back decades, and the offending priests were, in some cases, dead by the time their actions came to light.) But of the priests that were still alive, they remained priests and in most cases never stood trial for their actions. A great many of the cases were settled in civil court, with the Church paying out a boat load of money.
     
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