Why did Pope Benedict retire?

pope resignation

Popes do not resign very often. Official Church history doesn’t even give an exact number, because several very early popes may or may not have resigned. The two most famous are these: Celestine V in 1294, who hated his job, and Gregory XII in 1415, because there were three popes at once, and – well, it’s a complicated story.



The outgoing Pope, Benedict XVI, said he retired because he’s “infirm.” Aha. Well, popes generally stay put until they crumble into dust. The previous Pope, John Paul II, was very ill for at least the last ten years of his life, but continued to do his job, and was respected for it. Here’s the reasoning: the Holy Roman Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity gives spiritual guidance to the College of Cardinals when they elect the new Pope. Presumably, the Holy Trinity will not guide the College of Cardinals to elect someone who needs to step down after a few years.



So: we are forced to conclude that His Holiness Benedict XVI stepped down for more earthly and/or carnal reasons.



Here are a few earthly and/or carnal suggestions:



–         Benedict (formerly Josef Ratzinger) was a member of the Hitler Youth, and fought in World War II. His family, and the Church, has maintained that young Josef was defiantly anti-Nazi, and went so far as to avoid Hitler Youth meetings! (Well, really, if he’d wanted to be anti-Nazi, he could have gone underground.) Is it possible that someone has positive proof that young Josef was an active member of the German National Socialist Party, and is blackmailing him with the information?

–         One rumor goes like this: Benedict commissioned an investigation into the “gay Mafia” that runs the Vatican. The report was so overwhelmingly damning that Benedict decided he couldn’t run things anymore.

–         Same rumor, different twist: the “gay Vatican mafia” got so mad at Benedict that they forced him out.

–         Benedict is a famously bad personnel / money manager, and so are his lieutenants. Could this be about something as simple as financial mismanagement?

–         How about this? There are lots of sex scandals, both within the Vatican and outside. Let’s say Benedict discovered an embarrassing one – some cardinal or monsignor – and was silly enough to think he could pay off a blackmailer. Now it’s all about sex and money.



And here’s the thing: there was a time when we would never have known the truth. But things are changing. People are speaking up. People aren’t so much afraid of the Church hierarchy anymore.



Stay tuned, kids. Who knows what we might learn?



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

3 Responses to Why did Pope Benedict retire?

  1. starproms says:

    Well whatever the reason for his leaving, one thing is for sure – we’ll never find out!

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