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Medicine Science

Pope To Resign Citing Advanced Age 542

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-for-golf dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an unexpected development, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85. In a statement, the pontiff said: 'After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.' Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office."
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Pope To Resign Citing Advanced Age

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  • It became apparent when he was supposed to move a priest who had been indulging in altar boys to the Diocese of Ogdensburg [wikipedia.org] in New York where they would have a trial and could pay off the families but instead he moved him to the Diocese of Owensboro [wikipedia.org] in Kentucky where, upon discovery, he was lynched and killed without a trial. At that point, every God Fearin' Holy Roman Catholic altar-boy-molesting priest in the world feared the Pope could no longer shield them from mortal justice and so it was clear he had to resign his post. It's been long rumored that Cardinal Vincent "Big Vinnie the Silencer" Mastrantonio will be the successor and be able to invoke the Holy Spirit to "keep those quiet who don't want their kneecaps busted in over here over there."
  • So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:46AM (#42859339) Journal

    What?

    • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drcln (98574) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:11PM (#42859763)

      What?

      Yes. Why is this on Slashdot? We could be discussing whether Justin Timberlake brings his sexy self back with Grammys performance [today.com]?

      • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SomePgmr (2021234) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:24PM (#42860017) Homepage

        It's here so people can troll. I'm sure anything that mentions religion gets a billion views and comments.

        But it is kinda interesting, I guess. The article says it hasn't happened since 1415.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If you read into it deeper, it gets a lot more interesting. Hell, you could almost write a full book just on why the popes that retired did, and what happened to them.

          The 1415 resignation wasn't really by choice. He entered into an agreement such that he would abandon the pope title if the other anti-popes (people calling themselves pope, but weren't actually pope according to the official records) would abandon their titles too. Obviously, the winner writes the history books, so with all of that mess, t

          • Re:So (Score:4, Informative)

            by tnk1 (899206) on Monday February 11, 2013 @04:30PM (#42864227)

            Yes, Benedict IX was a product of a time where Rome was little more than a city run by families that were, in effect, much like organized gangs. Since, at the time, the election of the Popes was not done by the Cardinals, but by the local nobles of the Rome area, the papacy was basically captive to secular rulers.

            This period is known as saeculum obscurum (the Dark Age), and due to the influence of related females, was also amusingly known also as the Pornocracy.

      • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

        by turkeyfeathers (843622) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:42PM (#42860301)
        The Pope has a Twitter account, you insensitive clod.
    • Yeah, unless his successor is to be the Papal Mainframe [wikia.com], I'm having a hard time trying to work out why this is on Slashdot.
      • Re:So (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:42PM (#42860307)

        For a site filled with pedants, it's odd how many members forget the "stuff that matters" part of the slogan. The Catholic church has a membership of over 1 billion people, and a change in pope can affect how those people -- and especially their kids -- view certain issues, including scientific issues (albeit, the Catholics are nothing like evangelists).

        • by Tarlus (1000874)

          a change in pope can affect how those people -- and especially their kids -- view certain issues, including scientific issues

          Can, but won't. All of the Cardinals involved were either appointed by the current or previous pope, and/or they appointed the current pope. How they view certain issues and how the next pope they select also views them will not change. It'll take Vatican III to bring about any real progress, and with the current conservative trend I don't think Vatican III would come anytime soon.

          But, that's just how I view it.

          • by tnk1 (899206)

            You're probably right, but the guy who started Vatican II, John XXIII, was not exactly a flaming liberal himself, and was also thought to be a caretaker pope. Of course, considering that he died in the middle of Vatican II, the idea of him having a short term was obviously accurate, he just chose not to act like he was holding on to the position while someone younger came up.

            The interesting thing about the Pope is that he's an absolute monarch of an extreme sort. Once elected, there is hundreds of years o

    • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:18PM (#42859909)
      If you're a fan of a particular [insert sport here] team, you tend to be interested if a big change of leadership occurs in an opposing team.

      If you're an atheist or just an enlightened citizen of the world, I reckon it's newsworthy when the leadership of a 1 billion-strong team is about to change.
    • Re:So (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ravenscar (1662985) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:37PM (#42860203)

      Seriously? So what? I'm pretty sure that a change in the religious leadership for over 1 billion people spread across the entire globe fits in the "stuff that matters" category. The guidance of the pope strongly influences the way that a very large number of people think about important topics such as family planning, the role of government, charity, women's issues, the relationship between religions, and more.

      I'm an atheist from 'Murica and even I understand the potential significance of such a change. I mean, it probably isn't as important as DRM on video games or complaining about Apple, but it merits a spot in the list.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Now it would be a great Slashdot story if the pope said he was going to spend his retirement years doing open source code development.

  • ...they've got plenty of POPEs over there...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:48AM (#42859357)

    Why is this on slashdot?

  • by hsmith (818216) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:48AM (#42859359)
    and two months later quits his job. Coincidence? I think not.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:48AM (#42859363) Journal
    Noah lived to over 900, and he was building Arks into his 7th century.

    These modern God-botherers just don't have the stamina.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Noah didn't have to deal with building codes and maritime laws. He only had to deal with a dysfunctional family and lots of animal poop.

  • by Dartz-IRL (1640117) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:49AM (#42859383)

    In a statement released by the Vatican Today, it was announced that his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will step down with immediate effect. When asked for a reason, a spokesman for his former holiness suggested that he would like to spend more time with his wife and children.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mcmonkey (96054)

      In a statement released by the Vatican Today, it was announced that his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will step down with immediate effect. When asked for a reason, a spokesman for his former holiness suggested that he would like to spend more time with his wife and children.

      I did nazi that coming.

  • Too bad... (Score:4, Funny)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:57AM (#42859501)

    It's a shame that he's leaving. He was the perfect figurehead for the Catholic Church because he clearly and visibly embodied it's principles.

    • Re:Too bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Slider451 (514881) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (154redils)> on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:10PM (#42859747)

      Actually, by retiring before he dies, he gets a strong voice in selecting his successor. That, along with the fact that he's been carefully selecting like-minded cardinals the last several years, ensures the next pope will by very similar to Benedict.

      • Re:Too bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RobertNotBob (597987) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:42PM (#42860299)
        Slider,

        Actually.....

        Recent history shows he doesn't have to resign early to affect his succession. If you were watching in 2005 you would know that Pope John Paul II did exactly that and basically put him (the current Pope) into office as his hand-picked successor. Look at nearly any picture of the previous Pope in the last few years of his life and you're see the the man who became Benidict XVI in the same frame.

        Not like this is any big scandal. - It's totally natural to be concerned about who takes over when you leave.

        AND, leaders (religious, political or even corporate) selecting others who are like minded is called "Organizational Consistency" and is not a ""bad word"" in most places.

        • Re:Too bad... (Score:4, Informative)

          by cusco (717999) <<brian.bixby> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:56PM (#42861559)
          After John-Paul I died (probably by foul play) the Curia made damn sure that they weren't going to get someone like him in charge again for a long time. In other times John-Paul II would probably have revolutionized the Church, but he owed Cardinal Marcinkus and his corrupt cronies for his selection and only appointed ultraconservative cardinals during his entire reign. (In all fairness, considering the demise of his predecessor he may have been operating partly out of fear as well.) The Curia put pressure on more liberal cardinals to resign early as well, enabling their replacement with someone more in line with their own vision. Thus the selection of the head of the Inquisition as the new Pope after John-Paul II's death.
  • Mea Maxima Culpa? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:58AM (#42859519)

    Reading between the lines, I think HBO's recent "Mea Maxima Culpa" was probably a significant factor. His resignation will stave off the worst of the public outcry and demands for deeper revelations from the church about the matters raised there. Hopefully the Catholic Church will be pressed about the issues raised regardless, but his specific, key role in it all is the point at the moment.

    To recap what I read elsewhere: prior to being Pope, he was the head of the modern (renamed) Inquisition, assigned there by the previous pope. In that role, he "took charge" of the recent wave of priest sex abuse scandals since the 90s, ordered all evidence be centralized in his department's archives, and then basically hid it all and did little to actually act on the mountains of evidence they still haven't revealed to prosecutors or the public. It's pretty damning stuff.

    • Re:Mea Maxima Culpa? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Maow (620678) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:36PM (#42861241) Journal

      Reading between the lines, I think HBO's recent "Mea Maxima Culpa" was probably a significant factor. His resignation will stave off the worst of the public outcry and demands for deeper revelations from the church about the matters raised there. Hopefully the Catholic Church will be pressed about the issues raised regardless, but his specific, key role in it all is the point at the moment.

      To recap what I read elsewhere: prior to being Pope, he was the head of the modern (renamed) Inquisition, assigned there by the previous pope. In that role, he "took charge" of the recent wave of priest sex abuse scandals since the 90s, ordered all evidence be centralized in his department's archives, and then basically hid it all and did little to actually act on the mountains of evidence they still haven't revealed to prosecutors or the public. It's pretty damning stuff.

      The late, lamented Christopher Hitchens had possibly the ultimate take on the cover-up at Slate.com [slate.com].

      To quote the appropriately entitled "The Great Catholic Cover-Up: The pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it":

      Very much more serious is the role of Joseph Ratzinger, before the church decided to make him supreme leader, in obstructing justice on a global scale. After his promotion to cardinal, he was put in charge of the so-called "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (formerly known as the Inquisition). In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the church's own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was utterly forbidden. Charges were to be investigated "in the most secretive way ... restrained by a perpetual silence ... and everyone ... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office under the penalty of excommunication." (My italics). Nobody has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism! (See, for more on this appalling document, two reports in the London Observer of April 24, 2005, by Jamie Doward.)

  • by Thud457 (234763) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:11PM (#42859757) Homepage Journal
    What is RMS's position on this?!!
  • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:34PM (#42860165)
    Does this mean he's Ex Benedict?
  • by bjdevil66 (583941) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:54PM (#42860451)

    I don't know how many of the "nerds" here are Catholic, but with a possible membership of almost a billion people (active or not), that's a lot of people this could affect personally here on this site.

    Also, this particular pope is quite conservative in his views. What happens when the next pope comes in and has a more reformist idea set and says that God's told him to reveal something like, "Gay priests are acceptable - don't ask, don't tell," "Priests can marry if they want," etc., that's a major social shift that will have ripples across society.

    Even more importantly, imagine if the new pope suddenly said, "Birth control is ok..." That simple utterance from Vatican City could slow starvation and tame resource usage in poorer, more uneducated countries where millions devout Catholics take the Pope's word as law. All of a sudden technologies like GMO crops are viewed a little differently as food demand dips and the spreading of HIV or other STDs drop precipitously over time.

    Bottom line: This just may be big news for nerds - even those who could care less about the Catholic church, or any organized religion.

    (Disclosure: I'm not a Catholic.)

  • by kdogg73 (771674) on Monday February 11, 2013 @03:05PM (#42862715) Homepage
    Ex-Benedict

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