Wednesday, February 27, 2013

papal exit

It's a bit like watching a man standing on a building ledge, threatening to jump ... or listening to a drug addict drone on and on about his plans to reform ... or feeling bubble gum nag at the sole of a shoe ...

Will this pope, the first in over 600 years, just retire and be done with it?!

Day after day, there is some new news story about Benedict XVI's last moments as the front-and-center pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. There is no denying the fact that his retirement is unusual and affecting in an organization that counts 1.2 billion members.

But my Twitter-ized, Facebook-ized and impatient mind says, "Enough already! Jump if you want to, clean up your drug-befuddled act if you want to, stop and scrape the oozing adhesive off your sole if you want to ... just do it and be done!"

When he was elected, I seem to remember that Benedict was chosen at least in part because he was old and would soon be gone and this gave the electing cardinals some breathing room in which to pick a more vibrant pope. And when I first looked at his face, the instantaneous word that came to mind was "avaricious," but that was just a snap judgment, an impatient judgment ... and perhaps, but perhaps not, an accurate judgment.

Tomorrow, Benedict will say goodbye to his cardinals and then -- I can't help saying, "Praise God!" -- be gone... and there will be some new and improved news thread to be irritated about.



  2. A frail Pope Benedict made his public farewell to the world's Catholics on Wednesday morning, hours after one of his closest allies - Sydney Archbishop George Pell - criticised his decision to resign and said the church needed a stronger leader...

    ''He's got to know his theology but I think I prefer somebody who can lead the church and pull it together a bit,'' he said.

    Benedict was the first pope to step down voluntarily since 1294, and conservatives fear the precedent will open the church to other possible innovations at a time when it faces profound challenges.