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Pope Benedict is resigning

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The first Papal resignation since 1415.

 

Health?

 

The chance to influence his succession while still alive?

 

Or something more nefarious?

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I was wondering if it was an illness of the mind like Alzheimers that would keep him from leading.  The Catholic Church believes suffering is a part of life and therefore is something that should be accepted.  Certainly, Pope John Paul II was not in the best shape in his later years.  However, I can imagine if he were to have some high amount of dementia, in his clear moments he might feel it was just best for the Church to step aside.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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The news said he's been looking worse and worse and worse over the past 12 months; in any other profession, people would have been speculating that a resignation was coming, but it's just been so long since anyone did something of the kind in the papacy that people have always simply assumed normal rules didn't apply to that position.  It's obviously a significant event just because it's a significant position and it's been so long since something like it happened, but at the same time, the man is 85 and he's needed assistance walking for a while now.  One can hardly blame him for thinking the stress of the top job might be a little much to handle in that condition.

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I beleive that Benedict is on record saying that he has no problem with resignation if he feels it's time.  He's in his late '80's and rather than be like his predecessor who was obviously not able to carry out his responsibilites during his last 5 years, I think he recognizes his limitations.

 

He also has a younger brother who is a retired parish priest in Bavaria with whom he is very close and has made references in the past to "retiring".

 

However, the more cynical observation would be to say that he's outlived his usefulness.  John Paul II was pope for 27 years and Benedict was elected at an advanced age to be a short-term Pontif while the Church determined it's future direction.  I think his reign has lasted longer than he and the Church anticipated. 

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It's so hard to tell from photographs knowing that all the photos being published today were chosen to make him look old, but all of the sudden he does kinda look like my grandma when her body started to aggressively deteriorate.

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I remember there were questions about his health when he was appointed.  CNN now stating that "advanced age" is the reason.  The man is 85.  As beloved as John Paul II was, it was very disheartening to see him in his reduced state during public appearances so letting him step down rather than continue to decline while Pope seems to be the right move.  My wife & I were in Rome just 2 weeks after John Paul II's Beatification back in 2011 and people were still talking about it, apparently the biggest crowds Rome had seen in a long time...

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Much of our primitive, past-tense world (including Christianity) clings to this type of non-news as something important.  As for myself, please relay what Lisa Randall has to report concerning CERN's Haldron Collider.  :roll:

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Much of our primitive, past-tense world (including Christianity) clings to this type of non-news as something important.  As for myself, please relay what Lisa Randall has to report concerning CERN's Haldron Collider.  :roll:

 

It's the position John Paul II held, and he was one of the most influential world leaders of his time.

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out of all the western institutions, if not the world, the Church is the only one around that existed 1,000 years ago that's still around.  Probably for the past almost 2,000 years.  Though I won't be around, I'll wager that it will be the only one still around in the next 1,000 years..

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Much of our primitive, past-tense world (including Christianity) clings to this type of non-news as something important.  As for myself, please relay what Lisa Randall has to report concerning CERN's Haldron Collider.  :roll: 

It's the position John Paul II held, and he was one of the most influential world leaders of his time.

Of his time, but not of ours.  What the various popes may think, say, and do matters little to a 21st-century world--if you, personally, wish to listen to what any one of of them have to say, okay...  (It's totally your decision.)

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You're kidding.  The Pope is the leader of a worldwide religion with over a billion adherents and growing.  It's one of the largest and wealthiest organizations in the world.  His proclamations and opinions on matters spiritual and temporal are disseminated and debated in the media globally.  You may not adhere to his religion, neither do I.  You may not agree with his opinions, neither do I.  Many Catholics disagree with him on many things, for sure.  But I don't think anyone can rationally argue that he isn't an important person.

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You're kidding.  The Pope is the leader of a worldwide religion with over a billion adherents and growing.  It's one of the largest and wealthiest organizations in the world.  His proclamations and opinions on matters spiritual and temporal are disseminated and debated in the media globally.  You may not adhere to his religion, neither do I.  You may not agree with his opinions, neither do I.  Many Catholics disagree with him on many things, for sure.  But I don't think anyone can rationally argue that he isn't an important person.

 

For perspective, I'm what I call an "ethnic Catholic", analogous to an "ethnic Jew" who recognizes his heritage but does not practice the faith.  My grandpa's cousin (who he grew up with in the St. Hyacinth area) became a cardinal and a close confidant of Pope John Paul II.  I do not consider myself a Catholic because I disagree with the Church in many fundamental ways.  I also do not follow its rules, though neither do my cousins who still call themselves Catholic. 

 

I'm a little biased towards the church, but can state one major objective fact which is admirable about it, particularly the American church.  It does not do much prosletyzing and except for the abortion issue, does not attempt to legislate its beliefs and rules. 

 

More to the point made earlier, as religion is going to exist in this world, the Roman Catholic Church will continue to be among the largest and most influential sects.  It's also one which, despite its past as a compulsory "state religion", has managed to survive and thrive in free societies.  It provides a good example to Islam, in that regard.

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^

...good post.  I am also a non-practising 'ethnic Catholic' (or cultural Catholic might be a good way of putting it).  Nowadays I tend to go to my mas Lutheran church, when I go to church, but growing up where and when I did Im still in a lot of ways Catholic. 

 

In the US the Church used to have a sort of social/economic justice thing going on, and also, since it was an immigrant church, there was also a sort of 'uplift' thing, with tht network of Catholic education..K-12 and colleges. 

 

 

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The Pope is the leader of a worldwide religion with over a billion adherents and growing.  It's one of the largest and wealthiest organizations in the world.  His proclamations and opinions on matters spiritual and temporal are disseminated and debated in the media globally.  You may not adhere to his religion, neither do I.  You may not agree with his opinions, neither do I.  Many Catholics disagree with him on many things, for sure.  But I don't think anyone can rationally argue that he isn't an important person.

A lot of Protestants seem to look to the Pope as a kind of final arbiter as well - well,  maybe just when convenient...

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The Pope is the leader of a worldwide religion with over a billion adherents and growing.  It's one of the largest and wealthiest organizations in the world.  His proclamations and opinions on matters spiritual and temporal are disseminated and debated in the media globally.  You may not adhere to his religion, neither do I.  You may not agree with his opinions, neither do I.  Many Catholics disagree with him on many things, for sure.  But I don't think anyone can rationally argue that he isn't an important person.

A lot of Protestants seem to look to the Pope as a kind of final arbiter as well - well,  maybe just when convenient...

 

Sort of the way most Catholics do.  :)

 

He's far and way the most recognizable leader in Christianity.  Perhaps in organized religion.  That's why.

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I'd like to see Angelo Cardinal Scola get the white hat.

 

He has close ties with the moderates of the Islamic world.  He'd do a lot to promote understanding, particularly understanding that the Islamists do not represent Islam but are a faction seeking to take it over.  He's also a potential vehicle for helping Islam come to terms with how to thrive in a secular state.

 

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