Kate Clancy tackles Evolutionary Psychology »« Stupid blizzard

Who cares if the pope retires?

Get rid of one, and they’re just going to appoint another one. It’s not as if the job description has changed: the primary criteria are the ability to profess brain-buggering bullshit and work your way through the arcane medieval hierarchy of church politics, so it’s not as if we’re going to be surprised. It’s going to be another old guy who has dedicated his entire life to superstitious nonsense.


How I’ll always remember this pope:

Comments

  1. Mr Ed says

    As someone who just submitted is resume to the Vatican I think if they pick the right person there could be big changes.

  2. janiceintoronto says

    It’s just a shame that the evil bastard hasn’t died yet. The cretin is responsible for ruining countless children’s lives and now gets to live in luxury for the rest of his miserable life.

    Fuck the pope. He should be in jail.

    Religions poisons everything.

    Your friend,

    Janice in Toronto (and yes, that message is the politest one I could come up with.)

  3. jasmyn says

    I couldn’t agree more. I was just talking to my husband about this. I wish the entire catholic church would just poof out of existence.

  4. tbp1 says

    It’s not gonna happen, of course, but when he is no longer officially a head of state, can he
    finally be arrested for his role in protecting hundreds of child molesters?

  5. anubisprime says

    St. Malachy prophecy coming to fruition…hopefully…!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes#Interpretation

    Probably getting outta dodge afore the brown and sticky stuff hits the whirly thang and Benny gets drenched in the effluent from Catholic crimes…the charges are mounting and undeniable any-more and Benny realizes he if in the firing line!

    Like every brave little priest he has decided cowardice is the better part of valour and has hitched up his cassock and is off as fast and his skinny hairy legs can carry him…
    Maybe wiser if he stayed in the Vatican though otherwise the secular evil will bust his scrawny ass.

  6. says

    I love how his brain-dead cheerleaders are already calling his resignation an act of courage. The fact that his resignation is being spun just like Sarah Palin’s, really says a lot about this Church.

    Next question: will Cardinal Law have any role in the election of the next Pope?

  7. says

    Oh, and I agree with Mr. Ed: we should ALL send our resumes, as a way of saying we know we could all do a better job of Popery than the last guy did. Just send your resumes, with cover letters, to the Vatican embassy in your country.

  8. pikaia says

    I was sorry to hear about his retirement. He was a wonderful servant of the atheist movement, and must have converted far more people to atheism than even Richard Dawkins.

    Let us hope that the next pope is just as wicked and incompetent.

  9. alkisvonidas says

    Oh, come on! Can’t you be at least a little bit excited? The most recent papal resignation was in 1415, six centuries ago! And the one before that is mentioned in the Divine Comedy.

    Jeez, man, we live in interesting times!

  10. says

    I love how his brain-dead cheerleaders are already calling his resignation an act of courage.

    My first reaction to the news: “Coward.”

  11. voidhawk says

    My guess is that there’s a new scandal about to break – maybe directly linked either to ratzi or the papal office and he’s getting out before its his problem.

  12. says

    I care, but then I’m a confirmed incrementalist. A pope who embraces the humanist tradition of Erasmus would mitigate the evil the Church does in the world, and that would be better than another myopic absolutist like Ratzinger. That said, another John XXIII is highly unlikely. The current College of Cardinals is full to overflowing with the ossified mindset of the current pope and his predecessor. Expectations are low. But can they do worse than Benny Hex? The old soap opera continues.

  13. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    [with apologies to the Pythons]
    Brave Pope Ratzi ran away.
    Bravely ran away, away!
    When scandal reared its ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave Pope Ratzi turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    Bravely taking to his feet
    He beat a very brave retreat,
    Bravest of the brave, Pope Ratzi!

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    With Hitlerjugend I resigning, my father is nearly climaxing over the possibility of Timothy Dolan become the Penis Haver of Church of the Holy Pederast because “he’s the only man for the job.”

    Cardinal Timmy’s brother has a talk show here in Milwaukee and I had to endure listening to the moron on the drive into work. According to one local Cat-Lick, the hypothetical Pope Dolan would stand up to the evil Obama and his policy of “forcing” American Papists to pay for abortions. (I’m sorry, but you must have mistaken Mr. Obama as someone with a backbone, because not only hasn’t he done that, he doesn’t have the spine, guts, or non-gender-specific gonads to ever do such a necessary thing.)

    I don’t know who is going to be the next High Exalted Altar-Boy Rapist of the RCC, but you can be sure that he will be as out of superstitious (but that goes with being religious), sexist, and hateful of progress as Benny the Rat and his predecessors.

  15. says

    @ OP

    Get rid of one, and they’re just going to appoint another one. …

    Au Contraire!

    The longer they are entrenched the more effective they are in spreading their message of hate. The higher the turnover rate of popes, the better off the planet will be.

  16. Sastra says

    It’s going to be another old guy who has dedicated his entire life to superstitious nonsense.

    Well, yes — but there are Catholics and then again there are Catholics. For a religion which prides itself on its uniformity and boasts so much of its harmony there is an astonishing range of True Understandings of Catholicism, ranging from high to low on the axes of superstition, dogmatism, control, literalism, intolerance, and fanaticism.

    There are theologians who sounds like secular humanists with a hard-on for faith and tradition plaintively insisting that science, human rights, and the very Enlightenment itself came directly out of the doctrines and workings of the Catholic Church. There are theologians who are nostalgic for the Middle Ages and think everything started to go wrong in the Renaissance and went to hell in a handcart during the Enlightenment. And of course there are positions in between and smashed together, all of them related by how blithely each one insists on how lovely it is that they are not fractured into factions like those damn Protestants are.

    I’ve read that there’s an internal war within the Catholic Church between the dwindling Catholic humanists in the West and the increasing Catholic fanatics in the rest of the world. I’m divided I think on whether it would be better to get a pope from that first group so that less damage is done to the world at large or to get a pope from that second group so more damage is done to the image of Catholicism among the intelligent. The likelihood is probably a pope who hypocritically tries to appeal to both groups.

  17. says

    And today in the whitewash files, an interviewee* on the CBC’s The Current, in mentioning ‘the toll’ the child abuse scandal has presumably taking on da Rat, sez words to the effect of well, listen, this stuff happened long before his watch as pope…

    … which, umm, is all well and good, but let’s not forget that he did have a career in the church prior to this, during which he threatened excommunication for reporting child abuse to outside authorities.

    (*/ Didn’t catch who. Things a bit nuts this week and last several. May work on it. Segment is podcasted here if anyone else has time to get out ahead of me on this one and get something into their letters file.)

  18. miserybob says

    Woohoo! Elections have consequences, suck it, tea baggers! Obama gets to appoint the new Pope!

    The confirmation hearings are going to be a bitch, though… He could always go bipartisan and nominate Scalia!

  19. azportsider says

    “The likelihood is probably a pope who hypocritically tries to appeal to both groups.”

    I hear Mitt Rmoney isn’t doing anything…

  20. Donnie says

    There is the trial with the Pope’s butler who leaked Vatican notes to a journalist. I think that there is a book coming out. there is a lot of infighting in the Vacation due to the leaks. I guess that being the 21st century they allowed the Pope the dignity of resigning instead of resorting to assasination. The killing of a King is regicide. The killing of a Pope is Popacide?

    (NOTE: Not suggesting the assasination of the Pope but commenting on how in the historical past of the Catholic Church assasination was a viable method for choosing the next Pope)

  21. jetboy says

    @29: We’d get to watch Justice Scalia have to deny rumors of his membership in Opus Dei in the confirmations. That could be extraordinary entertainment.

  22. hawkerhurricane says

    Republicans in the Senate have declared that they will block President Obama’s nominee for Pope until he answers questions on Benghazi.

  23. says

    The accounts I’ve read say that Maladict is resigning so he can hand-pick a successor. Most of the current College was appointed by him, and as pope-emetrius (or whatever title he will have) his choice will carry considerable weight. Expect the extremism to double down.

    As for the Prophesy of the Pope, I like to think that the next one will be a fanatic ideologue with no capacity for politics who will drive the Church into universal scandal and ruin. Fingers crossed.

  24. says

    Wait, wait…. I’ve seen this before. It’s a trap. Pope Benedict is just resigning the papacy as we know it. He’ll disband the College of Cardinals, and declare himself Emperor Pope Benedict. He’ll the build a giant Death Eucharist, and blow up the home churches of the damn rebel protestant churches.

  25. leftwingfox says

    Look at the bright side; now critics won’t be able to complain that you’re picking on a feeble dying old man when you point out the incredibly shitty beliefs and policies of the church.

  26. says

    Ok, here’s a thought: Once he steps down, he is no longer a head of state (Vatican City is a theocratic sovereign nation headed by the Pope) and thus no longer protected by diplomatic immunity. Hmmmm…..

  27. sqlrob says

    My guess is that there’s a new scandal about to break – maybe directly linked either to ratzi or the papal office and he’s getting out before its his problem.

    Maybe, but doesn’t he lose his diplomatic immunity, seeing he’s no longer the head of a state?

  28. robro says

    Call me a cynic but I”m wondering what’s the back story. Popes don’t just resign because they’re getting old. There have been several leaks about financial corruption in the Vatican, and of course, there’s the ever growing scandal over covering up child raping priests, which Ratzi had a direct hand in. As suggest by some others here, perhaps he’s getting out while the gettin’s good. If he steps down now, maybe he can avoid being the first Pope prosecuted for a criminal offense in a long time.

  29. unclefrogy says

    there is no way I could ever believe what anyone ‘in power” says when they say things that they are retiring because of health reasons. There are many scenarios that one could imagine to try and explain why they are actually doing it. What has been said is the reason might even be true. “The Church” I doubt will be changing much no matter who is given the top chair. They can at best only slow down the death of superstition that reason has been working on for the last 500 years or so. At least that is what I hope is true.

    uncle frogy

  30. says

    Just send your resumes, with cover letters, to the Vatican embassy in your country.

    How convenient! Mr Darkheart is looking for a new job as we speak.

    Never mind that he’s a secular Jew… and married… with a child… and believes that teh Church is evil, he would look divine in the hat and various Poperly accoutrements. He’s perfect for the job!

  31. andyo says

    Who the fuck gives up a job that literally appeared in a puff of smoke made by wizards in funny hats and robes meeting in a secret chamber?

  32. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    A friend came in today and said all she could think of was an 85-year-old pope performing a rousing version of “You Can Take This Job and Shove It”. I’d pay to see that.

  33. azportsider says

    Gregory in Seattle: “As for the Prophesy of the Pope, I like to think that the next one will be a fanatic ideologue with no capacity for politics who will drive the Church into universal scandal and ruin. Fingers crossed.”

    So, basically: meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

  34. chibisan says

    God seems to have run into a little bit of a rough patch. None of the many candidates he told to run for president got elected, nobody in the NFL wants his quarterback, and now the man he personally selected to run his church has decided to quit. Tough going for an omniscient, omnipotent deity.

  35. Rodney Nelson says

    A friend came in today and said all she could think of was an 85-year-old pope performing a rousing version of “You Can Take This Job and Shove It”. I’d pay to see that.

    Me too.

  36. Olav says

    Holytape #36:

    He’ll the build a giant Death Eucharist, and blow up the home churches of the damn rebel protestant churches.

    I would be almost tempted to support him in that. In a the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend sort of way.

  37. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It’s disappointing how many skeptics think this means another scandal is about to break, or he’s about to be further implicated in existing scandals.

    That’s motivated reasoning. It’s what we want to be true.

    He’s probably quitting so that he can maximize his influence over the choice of the next pope.

  38. frankathon says

    For give my ignorance here but does this mean that private citizens can now finally bring the ex-pope to court on criminal charges for enabling child abuse now that he’s no longer the pope or is it more complicated then that?

  39. says

    I just want to mention something: there’s a really good opportunity here to re-use the lyrics for “Won’t get fooled again” if anyone knows someone who’s got a band and some blinged out mitre hats and satin robes and shit.

    Meet the new pope
    Same as the old pope
    I’ll move myself and my family aside
    Especially my kids that are under 5
    I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
    For I know that the hypnotized never lie

  40. Matt Penfold says

    The killing of a Pope is Popacide?

    And if you hang a Pope, he becomes a pope on a rope.

    I’ll get my coat.

  41. dianne says

    A friend came in today and said all she could think of was an 85-year-old pope performing a rousing version of “You Can Take This Job and Shove It”. I’d pay to see that.

    I’d pay quite a lot to see that. Especially if he did versions in German and Latin too. I’m not sure how to translate “shove it” into German so it’d be educational for me to hear it.

  42. Ogvorbis says

    The killing of a Pope is Popacide?

    I thought it was called “beatification” ;)

    Well, once the west adopted gunpowder, it could be ‘canonization’?

  43. glodson says

    My first thought: they could actually find someone worse. Easily.

    It isn’t like I have any reason to think it will get better. That would be nice, it would be nice to have someone leading the RCC that acknowledges the years of sexual abuse and takes steps to fix it, that ends the ban on contraception, that stops the attacks on gay rights, that ends the fight against abortion, and all that.

    But they won’t. So… yea, his retiring isn’t good news. It is just news.

  44. dianne says

    So now I’m humming “Take This Job and Shove It” under my breath. This is less than ideal given that I’m at work.

  45. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I long for the day that news about the pope resigning results in a collective shrug of indifference.

  46. Beatrice says

    Gregory in Seattle,

    The accounts I’ve read say that Maladict is resigning so he can hand-pick a successor. Most of the current College was appointed by him, and as pope-emetrius (or whatever title he will have) his choice will carry considerable weight. Expect the extremism to double down.

    This makes sense.

    Unfortunately.

  47. raven says

    Who knows why he is really resigning?

    Could be a lot of things or all things.

    It could even be that he is just old at 85 and in poor and failing health. It happens often at that age.

    This is the problem with Gerontacracies like the Popedom or the Mormon Popedom (First President). Exaserbated by our sciences, which can now keep the body alive longer than the brain functions.

    IIRC, the last 4 or so Mormon Popes suffered various severe neurological impairments in office. The current one is rumored to not be very aware of his surroundings.

  48. bradleybetts says

    I’ve just gone and done some reading on the RICO act, and one of the predicate offences is obstruction of justice. So now that Ratzinger no longer has diplomatic immunity, technically, it would be perfectly possible for the US Government to haul him and the entire leadership of the RCC up in front of a court on that basis, right? According to the Wiki page, it’s already been tried (unsuccessfully) on some Bishops of the Cleveland Diocese.

  49. strange gods before me ॐ says

    it would be perfectly possible for the US Government to haul him and the entire leadership of the RCC up in front of a court on that basis, right?

    Sure, if the US government is willing to declare war authorize the use of military force and invade Vatican City to capture him.

  50. HappyHead says

    My bet is that the replacement will be chosen based exclusively on two things:

    1) Policies as close as possible to Ratzinger’s, and
    2) Selected from a carefully vetted list of candidates who have no traces of connection to the covering up of child abuse, and have never signed a letter ordering coverups, transfers of known abusers, or silence from witnesses.

    The vetting will be so focused on child abuse scandals that they’ll completely miss something else equally horrible, which will come out publicly within a month of his appointment to office, resulting in a new round of “It’s just awful that this was brought to the public’s attention, and the person who reported it should be ashamed!”

  51. birgerjohansson says

    Hypothetically, if we wanted a bona fide nice guy to be the next pope and wear funny clothes, and consistently express a theme of death and rebirth, here is my choice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgOh_KKkgZ8 (the title is a suitable salute to the departing pope)
    And the group are already christians. And no more of those boring Georgian chants. And he already has a suitable wardrobe…

  52. bradleybetts says

    @Strange Gods Before Me # 68

    Now that’s one illegal invasion Military Action to further the economic interests and security of the United States that I could get behind :)

  53. puppygod says

    Now that’s one illegal invasion Military Action to further the economic interests and security of the United States that I could get behind :)

    They could learn a thing or two from the Mossad. If, hypothethically speaking, ex-pope meet some beutiful person, who would invite him to do some yachting, and if they accidentally sail out of the italian territorial waters and stumbled upon some military ship that was there by accident… Well, you know, these things happens.

  54. mobius says

    So if he is no longer Pope, does that mean he can be prosecuted for aiding pedophiles?

    Well, one can dream.

  55. Genius Loci says

    It is indeed tempting to ask “who cares,” except for the ridiculous power the Vatican still somehow manages to wield over women’s and LGBT rights in predominantly Catholic and non-Catholic countries alike. So, yes, I’m interested, although I don’t particularly expect his successor to be any more enlightened, for all the reasons stated above.

    On the other hand, the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury — now, that was worthy of a collective shrug.

  56. Matt Penfold says

    Unless the Pope plans to spend the rest of his life in the Vatican, he runs the risk of being held under a European Arrest Warrant should one ever be issued. Italy, legally, would be required to arrest and hold him pending his appearing before an Italian court. And the grounds for refusing to extradite under such a warrant are limited.

  57. generallerong says

    Thanks for “brain-buggering bullshit.” Every time I need to smile, I will recollect this phrase.

  58. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I say he’s ducking some trouble that’s coming, and protecting himself on the way out.

    He’s going to have great influence on picking his successor, as he’s appointed many of the selectors, and the new pope will owe him big time. The new pope can then protect Ratzi from whatever scandal/legal prosecution is coming, and pardon him for whatever sins may come.

    Ratzi is resigning the same way Nixon did, with his Gerald Ford already picked out.He won’t have to selfishly claim his own immunity, he’ll be graciously granted it.He’ll spend the rest of his life in the Vatican, maybe, but he’ll dodge prosecution and save his reputation.

    Is the ex-Pope Catholic?

  59. says

    @leebrimmicombe-wood

    “‘Ello, I found a hole in scripture even bigger than the first one.”

    “Be very careful not to tell your followers to believe that, then, ha ha ha.”

    “What? Me tell a great hole in scripture to my followers? You must be out of your– oh! …I told it to your followers.”

    It’s not enough to keep the mind alive, is it?

  60. cag says

    The reason is simple, Ratzi is no longer capable of raping altar boys, so he is no longer a proper example for his followers.

  61. says

    strange gods before me writes:
    Sure, if the US government is willing to declare war authorize the use of military force and invade Vatican City to capture him.

    Please don’t say that too loud. The US Government hasn’t seen an excuse to use military force that it doesn’t like. Let’s not encourage them. Let’s not even encourage a drone-strike.

    Personally, I like the fact that he’s just publicly admitted he’s a used-up feeble mortal human. It’s about time that sunk in.

  62. Moggie says

    He’s the father of the church! What kind of deadbeat dad says “you know what, I’m tired of being your papa, go find someone else”?

  63. lpetrich says

    Back in the 1980′s someone in Holland composed the song Popie Jopie (English spelling: Popie Yopie). Here’s some of it:

    My name is Popie Yopie
    I happily travel around
    And always when I arrive
    I spontaneously kiss the ground.

  64. robro says

    @strange gods before me wrote

    It’s disappointing…

    Yes, I want the perp brought to justice, so it’s amusing to fantasize about him getting iced. It’s not “reasoning” at all, but emotional. I’m not seriously thinking that avoiding prosecution is his rationale. I can’t imagine him being that self-aware. The most likely explanation is his health and age. He apparently wanted to retire when he was 75 but JPII wouldn’t let him.

    I wasn’t thinking of another scandal about to break…do you know something?…but the several already out. The recent revelations from Los Angeles get ever so much closer to Ratzinger as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation. I also read a while back that Belgium was looking into the cover up and protection schemes in which Ratzinger was mentioned. Tiny Belgium has many hundreds of cases which it is pursuing aggressively according to the news.

    There have also been some rather uncomfortable revelations for the Holy See around the handling of its enormous wealth, which has interested Italian bank regulators. Then there was the release of some pilfered private letters with some embarrassing revelations. And there are the wild rumors about his relationship to his personal secretary, the rather dashing Archbishop Ganswein.

    Needless to say, it’s impossible to seriously imagine any government, even Belgium much less Italy, ever going after him, or any prosecutor actually bringing an indictment against him. Even Archbishop Mahoney in LA isn’t likely to be indicted despite the clear evidence that he abetted rapists and he’s easily available to state prosecutors in LA. (Bishop Curry might be fair game, though. He is just a Bishop…ergo expendable.)

    Incidentally, Mahoney is “pleased” to vote for another pope, so we can count on more of the same from the Apostle of Peter.

  65. positivevorticityadvection says

    When I heard the teaser on the news this morning saying only that the pope was going to resign, my first thought was that he was going to acknowledge the massive of cover-up of pedophilia, his role in it, and accept responsibility as a way to begin to make atonement and heal the damage done to the Church.

    Yes, I’m way too old to be that naive.

  66. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    brain-buggering bullshit

    PZ, that’s beautiful.

    I liked that the pope’s message on the official website was addressed to his “brothers”. And why does the popery need a website? Doesn’t the sky demon transmit messages anymore?

  67. jcsscj says

    I always wonder when the next Pope is chosen why they need to decide that between them. Don’t they trust the choice of their boss?

    That whole process is one of the biggest signs that dog doesn’t exist.

  68. b. says

    Quoth Janine:

    I long for the day that news about the pope resigning results in a collective shrug of indifference.

    How about a response of a quizzical look and, “What’s a ‘pope’?”. I’d be happy with either, honestly.
    Since no popes in history (at least, that I’m aware of) have ever stepped down because of age, I have two guesses. Either something major is about to break and he’s leaving before he gets embarrassed by a no-confidence-vote and a request to leave or, as others postulated, he’s thinking his best chance of retaining control after his death is to hand-pick his successor. I’m really hoping it’s not the first guess. If he wasn’t embarrassed out of office by being exposed as doing his damnedest to cover up child molestations and to keep the molesters from just, legal punishment, I shudder to think what he thinks would be bad enough to flee office for.

  69. Owlmirror says

    Who cares? Not Josiah Zebediah Mordecai, I bet. Until he’s approached by a hot nun.

    Does no-one else recall the pitiful pestilence, the perilous pandemonium, and the purple prose of The Papacy Pastiche

  70. Lofty says

    I always wonder when the next Pope is chosen why they need to decide that between them. Don’t they trust the choice of their boss?

    Y’know, Dog answers by rearranging damp tea leaves, or some such ephemera. Hard to interpret an all that. It’s not like he’s all that strong in his old age.

  71. robro says

    Interestingly, the Guardian is reporting that two of the primary candidates to replace Ratzi are African cardinals: Francis Arinze of Nigeria and Peter Turkson of Ghana. Yes, we could have a Black pope and a Black president. The end is at hand! Break out the assault rifles!

    Note: The other one, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is Canadian, though to be specific, French-Canadian. A pope from a non-Catholic country, in fact one that is still nominally under the head of the Anglican church (ERII), would be almost as big a deal.

    Anyone taking bets on a dark horse White guy from mainland Europe?

  72. robro says

    Oh, and this is cute: According to the Guardian, bookmakers are taking best, and one of them, Paddy Powers, “has installed Richard Dawkins at “666/1″ to become the next pope. Ha ha.”

    Ha ha indeed. We’ll just see who gets the nod. Never underestimate the power of the debil.

  73. robro says

    Gregory — Funny. Hard to believe that Turkson would be considered “Peter the Roman”…he’s definitely African, not Italian. Of course, Turkson probably won’t take “Peter” as his papal name. They’re like Chinese emperors, you know…must have a different name for their era. And, there were other pope’s whose non-papal name was Peter or some form thereof before they became Papa.

    Finally, this whole Peter myth is a convenience of Roman hegemony. It’s arguable that the first pope, certainly the first head of the Christian church, was James, the so-called “brother of Jesus” and head of the Jerusalem church. Peter was his assistant. That story about Jesus designating him “Petros” and the foundation of the church was probably a later-day fiction.

  74. scienceavenger says

    Damn, this was my favorite Pope because of the way he responded to being told his hardline positions might run people away from the church:

    “A smaller church might be a better church”

    Yes sir, indeed it would.

  75. Olav says

    Strange gods #53:

    It’s disappointing how many skeptics think this means another scandal is about to break, or he’s about to be further implicated in existing scandals.

    That’s motivated reasoning. It’s what we want to be true.

    QFT

    He’s probably quitting so that he can maximize his influence over the choice of the next pope.

    That does seem plausible. And I think the reason that was given in the official statement (that his health is failing him) is just simply true as well. So, he is probably dying and wants to use his remaining time strategically.

  76. Freodin says

    He’s old, not very well, and will most likely spend the rest of his days hidden away behind thick walls.

    I just would have liked to see a court of justice send him to that place instead of a retirement comitee.

  77. stevenbrown says

    I went into a full on rage in the car this morning when I heard the editor of some PoS catholic magazine say that the pope should be commended on his record on dealing with child abuse.

    Tim says it so well in that video. Fuck the fucking fucker, fuck the fucking fucker , fucking the fucking pope.

  78. PatrickG says

    @ strange gods:

    It’s disappointing how many skeptics think this means another scandal is about to break, or he’s about to be further implicated in existing scandals.

    Eh. Most of the people I’ve seen seem to be merely hoping something will happen (I include myself in this group, so maybe I’m projecting). Cue mordant glee and cackling laughter if it does. Can’t we at least allow ourselves the guilty pleasure of imagination? :)

    Signifiers of this resignation aside, seems to me the irrational position here is betting against another scandal breaking soon. This is the Catholic Church we’re talking about…. you could calibrate a cesium clock based on the regularity of their scandals.

    Actually, now that I think about it…. anyone betting against new scandal involving the Catholic Church…. now that’s a failure of rational thinking.

  79. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Here’s a possibility: Given some of the language in the pope’s resignation, I’d say it’s possible that the weakness of his body that’s afflicting him is homosexual urges. He’s too old to do much about it, but I think he’s realized he’s gay. And resigning is the decent thing to do.

  80. Cyranothe2nd says

    >My guess is that there’s a new scandal about to break – maybe directly linked either to ratzi or the papal office

    This is my guess as well.

  81. omnicrom says

    I think both options, ducking a Scandal and angling to extent his cold clammy reach on Vatican politics into the future, are both quite plausible. We’d all like it to be scandal, but the current pope is certainly Palpatine-esque enough to be working on extending his hateful legacy.

  82. Lofty says

    Chief Poopyhead disses Chief Popeyhead. Popeyhead retires, mortally wounded. Poopyhead triumphant.

  83. dccarbene says

    I know that when the Pope dies, they have that big sleepover with black and white smoke (hmm, never thought about it before but sounds like a pot party…)

    However, my understanding was that in the ultra-rare situation of a papal resignation, the Vice-Pope took over. Vice-Pope Eric! Are you ready to serve?

    And I am a little surprised that no one has mentioned the phrase “like Ratzis running off a sinking ship…”

  84. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    @robro

    Ouellet is from Québec, which is nominally catholic (even if it’s probably the least religious place in Canada).

    He’s a smooth talking conservative asshole and fits the bill very well.

  85. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    So why is an unhealthy pope a bad thing? They run the buggers to death, then get along without one while they root around for a new pope. Now Ratzi say he can’t pope because of his health—he’s healthier than a dead guy, isn’t he? Dead guys pope well enough—what exactly is he doing worse than a dead dude would do it?

    I’m all for cycling in a new pope without waiting for the previous one to die, but they aren’t making it sound like they are instituting a new policy. This just sounds wrong, suspiciously like a disgraced politician.

    Supposedly the United States contingent will have a stronger vote than previously—only about ten percent, still. Vote? Why the hell would God need them to vote on this?

  86. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Given some of the language in the pope’s resignation, I’d say it’s possible that the weakness of his body that’s afflicting him is homosexual urges. He’s too old to do much about it, but I think he’s realized he’s gay.

    Looks like a transparent attempt to use accusations of homosexuality as a rhetorical bludgeon.

    Please don’t do that.

  87. says

    My mom is Mormon, and while she does see this as BS, there is a theory circulating in some of the wackier Mormon circles that Benedict is resigning so that he can be baptized as a Mormon by President Monson.

    I’m not sure if I want to see this happen for the entertainment value. The most strongly religious parts of my family are either Mormon or Catholic. As entertaining as such a conversion might be, it could cause serious family strife.

    I doubt it will happen, but it would be interesting if it did.

  88. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The changing of the guard may matter. Perhaps the church will find its Gorbachev.

    More likely their Putin.

  89. David Marjanović says

    Um, folks, the once and future Cardinal Ratzinger is well over 80 years old, so he will not get to vote on his successor.

    I don’t see why the quasi-official reason can’t be true: he’s seen what having an increasingly inactive pope does to the church and wants to avoid that. Trying to suffer like Jesus, as JPII did, is all well and good, but it doesn’t get anything done on Earth…

    A friend came in today and said all she could think of was an 85-year-old pope performing a rousing version of “You Can Take This Job and Shove It”.

    In Latin.

    Seriously, he gave his resignation speech in Latin, and the Vatican’s official newspaper (L’Osservatore Romano), which printed the Latin text, said he composed it in Latin.

    I’m not sure how to translate “shove it” into German so it’d be educational for me to hear it.

    Ranges from “könnt ihr euch in die Haare schmieren” to “könnt ihr euch in den Arsch schieben”, though the latter may be specifically Viennese (where there’s a lot more ass in the language than elsewhere, for Czech reasons).

    My first thought: they could actually find someone worse. Easily.

    Oh yes. It’s like with Reptilian candidates for POTUS: “nothing better [ever] comes afterwards” (Austrian proverb).

    Unless the Pope plans to spend the rest of his life in the Vatican, he runs the risk of being held under a European Arrest Warrant should one ever be issued.

    …which might happen if Dawkins goes Hulk and becomes Lord Protector first.

    Personally, I like the fact that he’s just publicly admitted he’s a used-up feeble mortal human. It’s about time that sunk in.

    Quite.

    Note: The other one, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is Canadian, though to be specific, French-Canadian. A pope from a non-Catholic country, in fact one that is still nominally under the head of the Anglican church (ERII), would be almost as big a deal.

    Until very recently, Québec was stiflingly Catholic. To this day they use blasphemies to curse there. That’s not Windsor, Ontario, that you’re talking about.

    the otherwise ideal candidate

    Awesome.

    I think he’s realized he’s gay

    o_O One word: Gänswein. I think he figured it out looooooooooong ago.

    Vote? Why the hell would God need them to vote on this?

    Because the Holy Spirit guides the cardinals’ thoughts, and the majority always recognizes the Will of God and votes for it. Always.

    And because I want Comic Sans back.