Okay, I gave Pope Benedict a pass for 15 minutes, as any elderly man has a right to say, ‘enough’.
But when you are talking about an institution that claims a 2,000 year history– including poisonings, wars between Catholic states, rival Popes claiming power, The Inquisition to name a few highlights– are things really harder these days? This Pope lived in Germany under the Nazis. Were those better times?
Benedict’s predecessor, John Paul II survived a shooting in an assassination attempt and went back to work.
This reminds me of the weird way the Church authorities claimed simultaneously that they dispensed a wisdom infallibly handed down from God over 20 centuries and that they never heard of child abuse until 1990 or so.
Back around 1400 or so a Pope might need a food taster and some curtains so he wouldn’t have to look at heads on pikes.
Today, to steal a phrase from Van Jones, someone might send a mean tweet.
Maybe it will emerge that Benedict’s resignation is an act of moral courage and a reality-based and humble approach to recognizing our human limitations. It would be a better world if more elderly autocrats stepped down, after all.
The Catholic Church does have its living saints, men and women who quietly serve God and their people. I don’t expect any of them to be in the elite group from which the next Pope will be chosen.