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Medicine Science

Pope To Resign Citing Advanced Age 542

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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  • So (Score:5, Insightful)

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


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:48AM (#42859357)

    Why is this on slashdot?

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @11:54AM (#42859449)
    So abrasive atheists can whore for karma by railing against religion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:08PM (#42859707)

    So abrasive atheists can whore for karma by railing against religion.

    I'll bite.

    This molester-protecting fuck had the audacity to label transgendered people as 'abominations'.

    This is possibly not news for nerds; but certainly, if you've any humanity at all, his departure from his vile office is most definitely 'stuff that matters'.

  • Re:Infallible? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zerobeat ( 628744 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:08PM (#42859713) Homepage
    Two infallible people at the same time would have to agree on everything. What I don't understand is is he infallible now? I mean, he admits he can't continue - surely a sign he is not infallible. Or does he only project into the future that one day he will no longer be infallible so he better get out now. But even then this is a sign that he is not infallible. This is the sort of thing that can keep you up at night until you realize what a load of horse shit this all is and you wonder why some people still bother with it. BTW why is he referred to as the "Pope". Other religious groups have popes too. Can we at least always refer to him as the "Catholic Pope".
  • Re:Too bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slider451 ( 514881 ) <slider451@@@hotmail...com> 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:So (Score:4, Insightful)

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


    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 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.
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:21PM (#42859953) Journal

    People are still making references to the mythical Great Catholic Altar Boy Molestation Conspiracy Project?

    Oh the "mythical conspiracy project"? Hmmm, let's see from the laundry list of cases [wikipedia.org] we find:

    In July 2010, the Vatican doubled the length of time after the 18th birthday of the victim that clergymen can be tried in a church court and streamlined the processes for removing "pedophile priests."

    So they streamlined a process to cater to a "mythical conspiracy project?"

    People like you are what's wrong with organized religion and one of the primary reasons of why I am atheist. The people that run the Vatican and those in the past that have stood up and protected that power structure at all costs are fallible mortals. Shut up and deal with it or I'll throw you in with Scientology.

    And all those cases have dried up, right? Right [thesouthern.com]? If you give money to the Roman Catholic church, that's what you're paying for, in part.

  • 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:What a quitter! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pswPhD ( 1528411 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:27PM (#42860073) Homepage

    Damn, now it makes perfect sense...Noah was only ~250 years old when he died. Makes the whole bible seem more legit.

    The whole point of the Bible is to state God existence, and the nature of that God.
    So, if we assume an omnipotent God exists and wanted somebody to live for ~900 years, He has the strength and ability to be able to do so.

  • by DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:30PM (#42860103) Journal

    AFAICT, for the same reason US presidential elections are covered on slashdot. It's got nothing to do with "news for nerds" but it matters to a very large number of people.

  • 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.
  • 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 jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:56PM (#42860505)

    Agreed, It isn't funny.
    * I AM NOT EXCUSING THESE GROUPS FOR THEIR HORRIBLE ACTS However I am explaining that their actions in a less emotional reaction.

    The problem lies in the fact not in problems with the church's beliefs, or even its policies. Except for the fact that it is an old institution, Just like the Boy Scouts of America. The issue of this cover-up is based on issues that have happened in the past where is was more common to cover it up, and quietly move the offending person away from the problem. This happened with families during the past too. Their Kid gets assaulted by their Uncle, the parents will just make sure the Uncle is never alone with the child, and not invited to as much events as they can.

    What compounds the issue is the Church, Boy Scouts, and other similar groups is that they are groups that stand for high moral values. And when there is a lapse it is that much harder for such groups to admit to past mistakes, and compound the problem. In many ways these continuing jokes and jabs validate their concerns about releasing the information. In America although about 1/3 of the population is Catholic about 2/3, are not. And many Christian groups still hold anger to the Catholic Church for things that have happened hundreds of years ago. So when would be a good time to show they have been hiding the practices. Any time would be bad, because there are so many people who wants to see the Moral Group go down and show how bad they are.

    Now we combine the Catholic Churches Key belief on forgiveness and absolution. Which has a gap for people who have mental illnesses, where once you confess to your sins you are good again. So the priests who have had a lapse in their control went and got forgiveness, the Church if following that particular dogma then punished the priest further it would seem like they are not holding on to their ideals.

    I am willing to bet there are a lot more organizations who have hid their sexual abuse records, and you will find that most of them are from "Good" Organizations who in general are out there tying to help people. Schools, Social Workers, Youth Groups, Mission Groups.... Anywhere where the adults are suppose to be the good guys that the kid should historically trust.

    The solution to this problem, isn't making sarky comments and getting angry at the organization, but to help insure there are new policies in place to help protect children, education to teach children and parents on how to protect themselves and their children. Yes punish the people who continued the cover up and lied about it, but this general public over reaction that makes it seem a Catholic Priest is equal to a Rapist is just overall bad and unproductive.

  • by ClippyHater ( 638515 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:00PM (#42860549) Journal
    People like you are what's wrong with organized religion and one of the primary reasons of why I am atheist. Really? Strange, I would've thought a disbelief in the concept of a God would've made you an atheist. If you have a reason OTHER than that, then you need to seriously rethink your convictions (hint: belief in a God doesn't require believing in the "holy" organizations that claim to know what's "right.")
  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isorox ( 205688 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:21PM (#42860935) Homepage Journal

    I reckon it's newsworthy when the leadership of a 1 billion-strong team is about to change.

    Does it have anything to do with technology at all?

    Because we don't get Slashdot articles saying "Happy Easter" or "welcome to Lent" and "Happy Hannukah".

    This has nothing to do with Slashdot.

    Big stories from slashdot's past
    * Kerry Concedes Election To Bush
    * Strike on Iraq
    * Barack Obama Wins US Presidency
    * Six Bomb Blasts Around Central London

    And not big enough to be in hof, but essential reading for me on the day -- pretty much the only website which stayed up as I dialed in from work on my 28.8 modem
    * World Trade Towers and Pentagon Attacked

    This beats the "news" that 1GB != 2^30 bytes in any case

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:30PM (#42861123) Homepage

    The solution to this problem, isn't making sarky comments and getting angry at the organization, but to help insure there are new policies in place to help protect children

    Also perhaps the Church needs to allow its priests some kind of legitimate sexual outlet (e.g. marriage). Otherwise the position attracts people who try to bury their sexual urges, only to have them build up and then re-appear in inappropriate ways.

  • by Damouze ( 766305 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:31PM (#42861155)

    I dunno about you, but I'm an atheist because there simply aren't any gods... but an anti-theist because of the way faith and religion makes people behave. Small difference, perhaps, but I wouldn't want people to believe that my objective interpretation of reality is merely a response to the way those pricks behave.

    The very fact that you call it your interpretation of realitity makes it subjective by definition (nothing wrong with that by the way).

    We are all coloured by our experiences from the past. Our look at life is subjective at the core, because our brain interprets the data coming in through our senses whether we are aware of it or not. The best we can do is to strive for an as objective view of life as we possibly can. But even then our view of life is by definition, not objective, because of that little possessive pronoun preceding 'view of life'.

  • by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:53PM (#42861515)

    Please point me to some citations on this. All the information I can find says that the rate of molestations are near identical to every other profession in which exposure to children is part of it.

    This number is higher then a number for the general population. I think it has to do with those who would harm the children actively seeking out avenues to be exposed to them.

    Whether it is or isn't, the reason for the outrage is that few professions are as monolithic between trade and employer as the Catholic Church and even fewer have a history of covering for offenders in such a wide-spread manner. Likewise, few other professions are dedicated specifically to moral standards. The Catholic Church is one of the world's major definers of moral standards. When it covers up violations and worse, lets the violators go unpunished, this damages their credibility in a significant way.

  • by Stormthirst ( 66538 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:05PM (#42861677)

    For a group who are supposed to hold the moral high ground because of their job, you should expect it to be considerably lower. Much like you would expect the crime rate among judges and police to be lower - because it is their role in society to have the moral high ground. It's also why the law should come down harder on police and judges when they do step out of line

  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:11PM (#42861777) Homepage

    There was this guy who wanted to debate me when I was volunteering at a religious function. He starts off with telling me he's an atheist and then proceeds to rant about why does God allow volcanos to go off and kill innocent children and whatnot...

    I try to be polite and reason with him but he's got serious anger issues with the idea of God and he's starting to make a scene. So I say to him "You know I read that true atheists are not angry at God, if he doesn't exist why are you mad at him?" He started laughing and then calmed down a bit. After that he identified as agnostic and I found out he grew up religious but basically couldn't reconcile the existence of evil and suffering in the world with his understanding of God. He ended up bitter and resentful. It's too bad he had all that emotional baggage and wasn't able to discuss it rationally, I much prefer an educated atheist over an angry pretender.

  • Re:What a quitter! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:13PM (#42861819)

    But what I was taught in theology was the numbers, like many numbers in the Bible, were symbolic

    So, the numbers are symbolic, but the rest of the text is the direct word of God and must be interpreted exactly as written?

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:54PM (#42862545) Journal

    I don't personally believe that requiring a legitimate sexual outlet is strictly necessary.... In fact, I might suggest that if or when a priest finds that such desires are interfering with his ability conduct himself professionally then that priest ought to resign his post. The reason for abstinence is based on the notion that they can more fully devote their lives and passion to God. Right or wrong, it's their belief, and although I do not personally share it, I can still respect that value... as long as the objective behind it is maintained.

    While certainly not everybody has the kind of willpower it takes to abstain from sex, it's entirely erroneous to think that absolutely nobody can... at least for a while. It's my own belief, in light of this, that such positions which they believe necessitate abstinence should probably not be held for more than perhaps 7 or 8 years, at the most.

  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @03:10PM (#42862817)

    People like you are what's wrong with organized religion

    Right, cause things like this are rampant in every other religion, right?

    and one of the primary reasons of why I am atheist.

    If the 20th century has taught us anything, its that all religions are messed up and all atheists are cuddly kittens.
    --This message has been approved by Pol Pot and Stalin

    The RCC has a fair share of troubles, but that's largely a function of it abandoning any authority other than "what we say" all of those centuries ago. What do you suppose made up a huge portion of the grievances in Luther's 95 theses? Heres a hint, it starts "cor" and ends "ruption".

  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @03:14PM (#42862887)

    but an anti-theist because of the way faith and religion makes people behave.

    Anyone who has studied any sort of history knows that people need no excuse or justification to "misbehave"; its just that if excuses or justifications are available they will use them.

    Do you really think that the IRA bombings are purely religious? That the Holocaust wouldnt have happened without a religious target? That the people in the Westboro church would be cuddly kittens if only it werent for religion?

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @03:45PM (#42863511)
    Congratulations on meta-funny post! This is funny from at least three points of view: the programmer's view of the IT cloud, the atheist's view of religion, and the Christian's view of prayer.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @03:53PM (#42863657) Journal

    You can be as outraged as you like. The GP said it "occur the most amongst popes and priests" which I can not find anything indicating is true.

    As for morals, I seriously doubt it has anything to do with it. People who will break the law often conceal themselves. How many times have you seen a cat burglar walking down the street? Probably more then you realize.

    So I guess a question might be, does the moral lessons pushed by someone automatically become void should that person turn out to not be moral? I mean if you see a cop stealing money from a cash register when the store keeper is stocking slurpy cups, does it mean it is no longer wrong to steal?

    Of course not. But I can agree with you being more pissed that a cop was stealing. I can't agree that it somehow means now all cops or law enforcement in general are thieves (hypothetically)

  • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @06:47PM (#42866209) Journal

    Umm, no. By that definition, you are an agnostic.

    Umm, no. That's not what those words mean.

    Atheism is a belief statement. To be atheist means that you lack a belief in any god or gods.

    Agnosticism is a knowledge statement. To be agnostic, in this context, means that you don't know if any god or gods exist.

    You can be an atheist (lacking belief) and also be agnostic (lacking knowledge). An agnostic atheist would not believe in any gods, but also would not claim to know that no gods exist. A gnostic atheist both lacks the belief and claims knowledge that no gods exist.

    I am also an agnostic because I realize you can't *prove* there is no god.

    You make the exact same mistake the parent makes: Proof or the ability to prove need not enter in to it at all. We're dealing with "that" not "why", after all.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler