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Monday, February 11, 2013


The Pope resigns! There's coverage of it everywhere, of course - The Tablet has a live blog on the event, Rocco Palmo's all over it, Andrew Brown comments, and Thomas Reese SJ has an article at America - Q&A on Papal Transition, Conclave & Election of New Pope

I can't help thinking that a part of the reason for the resignation is the recent investigation by civil law enforcement in a number of countries against those in the church who have covered up sex abuse, and as film-maker Alex Gibney pointed out, Benedict seems implicated.

The tributes to Benedict's papacy are accumulating, but let me recall some of the negatives too: his anfti-ecumenical statements/acts towards Protestantism and Judaism, his pushing through of a questionable new missal, his embrace of the SSPX, his equating the badness of women's ordination to sex abuse, his many anti-LGBT statements, the return of the Latin Mass, etc.

I don't have high hope that the next pope will be a lot better than Benedict - he's pretty much stacked the deck on the choice of his successor with his many conservative cardinal appointments. Still, one can hope.


Anonymous Richard said...

An interesting time to be a Catholic blogger. Enjoy!

4:22 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


5:00 PM  
Anonymous John Drake said...

Interesting. Crystal, the exact things you mention as not having appreciated are precisely why many of us think he was a GREAT pope!

9:39 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi John,

Yes, I guess that difference is an example of the divide in the church.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Bayly said...

Am at a total loss as to how anyone could consider this man a "great" pope! I welcome his abdication but don't hold out much hope for things to improve under the next pope. The whole system itself that will elect the next pope is the problem. I appreciate Mary Hunt's perspective. She writes: "[R]ank and file Catholics want a new Church, not just a new pope."

She goes on to observe that: "We know that change is in the air because we put it there. Progressive Catholics all over the world are creating new forms of church since the old is so thoroughly discredited. No institution can withstand the onslaught of negative publicity that the Vatican earned over clergy sexual abuse and episcopal cover-ups without major changes. No hierarchy however fortified can hold out forever against spirit-filled steps toward equality and justice. This time, just electing a new pope will not do. Nor will closeting away a group of elite electors responsible to no one but themselves cut it for an election process.

"Catholic people have consciences too. We expect to have a say in how we organize and govern ourselves. We cannot in conscience abdicate our authority to 118 mostly elderly men. Those days are over. If a pope can abdicate before he goes out feet first without the sky falling in then new egalitarian models of church can and will emerge too."

The full text of Hunt's commentary can be found here.



9:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Thanks for the link. I agree with her - a new pope won't solve the church's problems, given the the system remains the same. I'm pretty discouraged about things getting better without some radical adaptations.

12:57 AM  

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