Pope Benedict XVI is resigning Feb. 28 because he simply is too old and infirm to carry on. Plus, I’m pretty sure he will get to keep his health insurance.
After all, he is the Good Shepherd and 1.2 billion Catholics are a lot of sheep to keep an eye on and make sure they are keeping the Commandments and putting a nice slice of dough in each week’s collection envelope.
Benedict’s job would have worn out a 25-year-old who drains 5-hour energy drinks every 3 hours.
Benedict’s mission was to reawaken Christianity in a secularized Europe, to rekindle the faith in a world which seems to think it can do without God, and shoulder the monumental task of purging the Catholic world of a sex abuse scandal that festered under Pope John Paul II and exploded during his reign into the church’s biggest crisis in decades, if not centuries.
Man, I got exhausted just typing all that out. It might have been easier for Benedict to restore the Roman Empire.
That’s a mountain of work to pile on a pontiff who didn’t get the job until he was 78 years old in 2005. I guess the cardinals who white-smoked his papacy thought he would simply be a caretaker pope, a bridge to the next generation following the long reign of John Paul II.
But God had other plans and Benedict still is alive if not so well. So the 85-year-old pope too matters into his own hands today, becoming the first pontiff to resign since 1415.
Benedict always seemed the reluctant pope anyway, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary moments to the public glare and majesty of the Vatican pageantry.
As a practicing Catholic (and one of these days I’m praying that practice makes perfect so I don’t have to practice any longer), I’m praying that the next Catholic is young, dynamic, abolishes confession and makes Sunday Mass optional.
Right now if a Catholic misses Sunday Mass and then dies without confessing it, it’s a one-way ticket to hell.
Which means hell must be as crowded as hell these days and filled with a lot of Europeans.