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Pope Benedict willfully abdicate?
For a billion Catholic's the Pope is a spiritual leader . Pope Benedict asked the faithful to pray for him and for the next pope, in his penultimate Sunday address to a crowded St. Peter's Square before becoming the first pontiff in centuries to resign ...The crowd chanted "Long live the pope!," waved banners and broke into sustained applause as he spoke from his window. The 85-year-old Benedict, who will abdicate on February 28, thanked them in several languages. Speaking in Spanish, he told the crowd which the Vatican said numbered more than 50,000: "I beg you to continue praying for me and for the next pope".There are also rampant rumors that the pope’s health is far worse than anyone realizes. Whispers of late-night helicopter trips to emergency rooms and hints that he is suffering some terminal illness like leukemia pushed forward by Italian gossip site Dagospia are unconfirmed, but still won’t go away. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi begins each press briefing with a list of untruths he has read in the press, effectively spinning the stories back under Vatican control. **Resignations may be not only express but also tacit. The latter is presumed to have taken place when a cleric accepts an office or commits an act incompatible with the holding of an ecclesiastical dignity, such as solemn profession in a religious order,enrolment in the army, contracting marriage, and the like. A little HISTORY here. The last Pope to "resign" was John XXIII (1410-1415) was probably the most entertaining of the Renaissance Popes, though there is some doubt whether he was legally the Pope. Gibbon says of him when he was brought to trial: “The most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest.”It isn’t easy to say exactly how many. Church history is often rather murky, and it can be hard to distinguish between abdication and deposition – look, for example, at Silverius, who, I think, was arrested by Belisarius and sent off for trial before the Emperor. Popes have come and gone in the last 2000 years of the Roman Catholic Church . The Catholic church today should hearken back to it's days when it's temporal rule over nations . The Church needs a revival , and a "cleansing" amid sex scandals . # Benedict's papacy was rocked by crises over the sex abuse of children by priests in Europe and the United States, most of which preceded his time in office but came to light during it. His reign also saw Muslim anger after he compared Islam to violence. Jews were upset over his rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church's business dealings, @ his butler was convicted of leaking his private papers. There is another reason I suspect that Benedict left . He was pushed around by the Church's Cardinals . The Pope is not independent by all means . Benedict came to the papacy burdened by the cartoon image of “God’s Rottweiler” and the fact that he had been a very reluctant draftee into the Wehrmacht during World War II. What Joseph Ratzinger displayed over the seven-and-a-half years of his pontificate, however, was an acute sense of the crisis of western democracy at this moment in history. A German pope who publicly thanked the people of the United Kingdom for winning the Battle of Britain was, clearly, a man with an unusual perspective on, and insight into, contemporary history.Immediate reaction to the address of the Holy Father to the Roman clergy has been varied. Some have interpreted his comments as a remarkable and a new revelation of his disdain for the conciliar reforms; others as a poor attempt of distinguishing the work of the Council itself from its aftermath. In fact, he has simply reaffirmed what he has been saying since the beginning of his pontificate, namely, that Council needs to be interpreted according to a hermeneutic of continuity and reform, not one of rupture.
NOTES AND COMMENTS:
**All doubt as to the legitimacy of papal abdications and all disputes among canonists were put an end to by the decree of Pope Boniface VIII which was received into the Corpus Juris Canonici (Cap. Quoniam I, de renun., in 6). The Pontiff says:
Our predecessor, Pope Celestine V, whilst he governed the Church, constituted and decreed that the Roman Pontiffcan freely resign. Therefore lest it happen that this statute should in the course of time fall into oblivion, or thatdoubt upon the subject should lead to further disputes, We have determined with the counsel of our brethren that it be placed among other constitutions for a perpetual memory of the same.
# The one aspect of this event which interested me was your suggestion of the possibility of Divine intervention, at the personal level, perhaps having played a role in this drama. The ritualism surrounding “Shrovetide” makes the unlikelihood of a Papal abdication coinciding with it a synchronicity far too compelling to ignore. However, the additional feature of a spectacular lightning strike upon St. Peter’s the very day of the papal resignation followed today by the spectacular account of a supposed “meteor” strike in the Urals region of Russia has to make one wonder if the heavens themselves are in a state of agitation.
@ Last year's "Vatileaks" scandal, in which the pope's butler Paolo Gabriele provided Italian journalists with a number of confidential Vatican documents—revealing corruption, intrigue and infighting at the highest levels of the church. "Knowing that one of his closest aides had betrayed him must have left him very isolated and powerless. The Pope must have felt that power was slipping away from him, his power to govern," The Table editor Elena Curti told Metro. Did Vatileaks take down the pope? Or were the scandals it uncovered just a taste of what's to come—and is Benedict's abdication a preemptory move?