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.