February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI to resign

Becoming the first Pope to do so in 600 years — or since the later Middle Ages / early Renaissance (depending on which historian you use).

– Making Pope Benedict far more progressive than score of Popes before him. And yet even he wasn’t good enough for Catholics like Andrew Sullivan, who continue to insist the Church evolve to suit them (and “the modern world”), rather than stick to a set of cardinal (ahem) beliefs that in turn circumscribe what is the Church itself. In fact, to read the NYT piece announcing Benedict XVI’s resignation, you’d think the former Cardinal Ratzinger akin to some tyrannical Dark Age cleric straight out of an Umberto Eco novel.

Me, I’m not a Catholic, so I lack the authenticity to pronounce on such things, but from my perspective, it is the very idea that there is settled Church doctrine that gives the religion its claim to faith. Whereas a desire to see the religion adopt to certain personal lifestyles — so that those who engage in practices that fall outside of Church doctrine can continue to belong — strikes me as completely self-indulgent, and more befitting entry barriers into a country club than a faith.

I guess there’s just no pleasing some people. Although I suppose if Madonna were to get the job next, they’d be able to live with it.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:05am
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Comments (32)

  1. who continue to insist the Church evolve to suit them (and “the modern world”), rather than stick to a set of cardinal (ahem) beliefs that in turn circumscribe what is the Church itself.

    Theological consistency? Unchanging standards as a bulwark against human fragility and fickleness?

    WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!

  2. how do we know for sure he’s resigning and not being forced out in a palace coup?

  3. Apparently it’s Gregory XII who qualifies as the last resigner.

  4. A Catholic palace coup at that level would be, to you, indistinguishable from “died in his sleep”.

  5. The “coup”ers generally take over, and unless they already have the election rigged, we don’t know who that will be.

    We need Dan Brown, World Best Expert on All Things Roman Catholic™ to chime in on what this really means. My vote? Jesus was really an alien, and now they’re taking over. And Rome knew it all along and covered it up for 2,000 years!!!11!!!!one!!

  6. He sounds like a man of integrity.

  7. i wonder if the next pope will be a white european guy

  8. …he wasn’t good enough for Catholics like Andrew Sullivan…

    I suppose if Madonna were to get the job next, they’d be able to live with it.

    If Dan Brown scripted her act, Quentin Tarantino provided screenplay, and Enigma the score, in a hundred years you’d probably have a fair start on exercising the many demons that keep the Church on the other side of Hollywood’s tracks.

    Because atrocities should never be forgotten.

  9. This is genius on the part of the Holy Father. He resigns on or around Ash Wednesday and the College of Cardinals meets to select the new Pope who will be installed by Easter. Not only that, in 2007, pope Benedict changed the rules for selection of a new pope from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority to cut out stalling and hold outs among the CoC. (The new Pope must be chosen in nine days.) Not only that, he has installed 67 of the 118 (or so) Cardinals. He is pretty much guaranteed the successor he wishes.

    Et voila!

  10. As a Catholic, I’d have to suspect that he doesn’t feel mentally up for the challenge in the following years. Pope John Paul II showed a lot of dignity for life when he choose to die in office, but the American and European churches suffered a bit from bad priests/bishops making some shockingly bad decisions.

    Plus, he probably feels successfully updating the English Liturgy translation is enough for one pope’s “career,” as it were.

  11. it is the very idea that there is settled Church doctrine that gives the religion its claim to faith.

    Our doctrine does develop over time, but it pretty much exclusively develops to become more explicit and more detailed (read: more restrictive).

    Now, as is the case with homosexual acts, there is a pretty clear bright line in scripture as well as moral doctrine that cannot be undone – for to undo it would in all practical effect undo the Roman Catholic Church’s raison detre, viz, to protect the deposit of the faith and to teach as to morals. A 180 degree turn would call into question just this very teaching authority – for ghey activists, this “heads I win, tails you lose” dichotomy is rather enjoyable. If they should relent under pressure and reverse centuries of moral doctrine, they will have destroyed the Church itself, and if they should continue as always they will remain the target of first opportunity.

    I must say that the thumps that the Church takes from the ghey and Left vanguard (I repeat myself) are almost worth it to see the obvious (but perhaps not to them) working out of cognitive dissonance. e.g., A fellow – let’s call him “Michelangelo” – likes sodomy, the Church of his youth tells him sodomy is wrong, he wants to believe that he is a good person, and therefore the Church is evil, therefore he gets to be self-regarded as a good person and enjoy all of the sodomy he can with a somewhat clear conscience. Did you know that the Pope’s opposition to the use of prophylactics which carried no force of law was responsible for the AIDS epidemic, but not ignoring obvious public health concerns and epidemic protocols by keeping bathhouses open for “business” in San Francisco and New York? For Michelangelo, he gets to believe that it was words uttered by a man thousands of miles away which he and his fellows ignored anyway that caused the deaths of so many, but not the very empirically proven scientific cause itself that caused these deaths.

    Finally, I notice that the BSOA are being put in the same position as the Roman Catholic Church decades ago. They’re agitating that the BSOA admit ghey scoutmasters with authority in loco parentis over ephebic boys, and in the coming decades the institution itself (and not those who agitated for this change) will be discredited and financially destroyed when the inevitable happens.

  12. i wonder if the next pope will be a white european guy

    Actually, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is considered a front-runner.

  13. Me, I’m not a Catholic, so I lack the authenticity to pronounce on such things, but from my perspective, it is the very idea that there is settled Church doctrine that gives the religion its claim to faith. Whereas a desire to see the religion adopt to certain personal lifestyles — so that those who engage in practices that fall outside of Church doctrine can continue to belong — strikes me as completely self-indulgent, and more befitting entry barriers into a country club than a faith.

    You have a better understanding of all this than many so-called Catholics.

  14. That idea is being tossed around, but he is only 57 or so, Darth. I doubt he will be chosen.

  15. Years ago Mark Steyn made the following comment (as well as I can remember it) re: Catholic church needing to embrace current social norms: “Religions don’t exist to validate your life choices.”

  16. To read some of the reactions on Twitchy and elsewhere, you would think this Pope actually molested children. Its disgusting.

  17. Finally, I notice that the BSOA are being put in the same position as the Roman Catholic Church decades ago. They’re agitating that the BSOA admit ghey scoutmasters with authority in loco parentis over ephebic boys, and in the coming decades the institution itself (and not those who agitated for this change) will be discredited and financially destroyed when the inevitable happens.

    It’s not just the scoutmasters they’re worried about.

    Or, to argue by way of analogy, maybe you think it’s a good idea to give sixteen and seventeen year old boys unfettered access to twelve and thirteen year old girls for a weekend or longer.

  18. paulzummo: I was thinking the same thing. That “settled Church doctrine” and a 2000 year history are both part of the reason that THIS former Protestant converted in 1989.

  19. Mr. Father Cardinal Turkson recently got himself into a bit of a kerfuffle

    but he would make a very handsome pope I think

  20. The notion that Church doctrine should change to suit the whim of progressives goes hand in hand with their notion that the Constitution should change at their whim.

    They whine, and stamp their feet, and demand to have things their way. Before, there were enough adults in the room to give them all a time out. Now, the children have taken over, and dag nabbit, they’ll fix things.

    Lord of the Flies writ large.

  21. Or, to argue by way of analogy, maybe you think it’s a good idea to give sixteen and seventeen year old boys unfettered access to twelve and thirteen year old girls for a weekend or longer.

    The beauty of the racket is that when the inevitable “Boy Scouts Embroiled in Pedophilia” scandal erupts, the identified culprits will be the “culture of conformity,” and “hierarchical, ritualized structure” led “exclusively by men.” Adult men seducing 16 year old boys, and older boys seducing younger post-pubescent boys will be called “pedophilia” again because gheys are not capable of predatory behavior, as we all know – to engage in evil or exploitative acts renders one not ghey. Then the lawyers will loot the BSOA, and everyone will forget exactly who was demanding the change in the first place.

    If this racket reminds you of Paul Cicero becoming a partner in the Bamboo Lounge and burning the place to the ground after looting it and sticking Sonny with a mountain of debt, you would not be the only one.

  22. FWIW, my money is on Schönborn. I know – two German speaking Popes in a row and all, but still.

  23. Then the lawyers will loot the BSOA, and everyone will forget exactly who was demanding the change in the first place.

    And before you know it there will be a merit badge for fisting.

  24. The notion that Church doctrine should change to suit the whim of progressives goes hand in hand with their notion that the Constitution should change at their whim.

    But the existence of a 2,000 year old institution and/or 200 year old document that conflicts with the values that one learned from unsupervised viewing of MTV as a latchkey kid is really bad for self esteem.

  25. Pingback: Pope Benedict XVI will step aside Feb. 28

  26. So with the new rules I guess this secret document from last time is no longer in effect.

  27. FWIW, my money is on Schönborn. I know – two German speaking Popes in a row and all, but still.

    Even as recently as six years ago, he’d be high on the list. But he’s become very, very erratic over the past few years, with some flat-out bizarre decisionmaking and championing of fringe spirituality.

    He isn’t the Schonborn of the Catechism these days.

    Ouellet (Quebec) is high on the list, as is Turkson. The latter would be better on Islam (and quite a statement to Africa), but his economics are conventionally European (for a man from Ghana).

  28. McGehee: that’s funny! Probably have to be updated, and upgraded to “Double Secret” status.

    Italians…

  29. Obama’s reaction: “I would make a better pope than the pope.”

  30. I’m just praying that the next Pope is Catholic. But I’m agnostic on whether bears ought to shit in the woods if they don’t want to.

  31. I was born and raised a Catholic. I left the Church because of the first time it sacrificed tradition for popularity, Vatican II.

  32. Pingback: Pope Benedict To Abdicate* « The Camp Of The Saints

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