Ex-Benedict: Pope Gives Two Weeks’ Notice

Thursday, February 14, 2013
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When Pope Benedict XVI announced this week he was resigning from the Chair of Peter, it was, said UCSB scholar Stefania Tutino, “a very rare occurrence,” but not completely out of the blue. The first pope in 600 years not to leave office feetfirst, Benedict clearly did not enjoy the public demands of his position, Tutino said, was in failing health, and found himself embroiled in internal Vatican scandal and conflict. And that’s on top of the child-abuse scandal that’s consumed the church worldwide and has “characterized” his papacy in “a remarkably negative manner,” she said.

Tutino — a historian of the Vatican and Catholic Church — cautioned that the pope does not operate like the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and cannot be expected to single-handedly overcome the “doctrinal rigidity” of the church. Even so, she said, he didn’t do enough to address the issue of child abuse, either as pope or as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his post under John Paul II. Tutino described Benedict as a scholar and doctrinal radical at odds with “secular modernity.” His strict adherence to a rigid orthodoxy cost Benedict followers in the United States and Europe, she said, citing his opposition to condoms even in the face of Africa’s AIDS epidemic.

Tutino broke ranks with many of the Vatican prognosticators who predict the College of Cardinals will elect a new pope just as conservative as Benedict. She acknowledged he appointed roughly half the Cardinals but noted his successor needs a two-thirds majority to win. The fate of that election will matter to more than the one billion people who call themselves Catholics because the Roman Catholic Church remains very much a global power in an increasingly globalized world. The challenge posed by leaders like Benedict is whether the “institutional rigidity of the Church” can be sustained in the future. “I, for one, am incredibly anxious and excited to see how things pan out,” Tutino said.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

He's just too pooped to Pope.

Analog8 (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 10:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Rat-in-the-Hat now gets a bye on all the RCC's crimes - which is a crime in itself.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

SezMe: I don't think his decision to resign would make any difference in whether or not he is subject to legal action.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 16, 2013 at 2:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If he can quit, anyone can. Try it and evolve.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2013 at 7:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nothing new here, but good to keep in mind the "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei)" run by Cardinal Ratzinger used to be called the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition" -- yes, THAT Inquisition -- and is housed in a freakin' Palace.

It's role is, in the words of Pope Paul:

:: "... to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world; so it has competence in things that touch this matter in any way."

Quoting here from a translation of "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela":

:: "Art. 4 § 1.
Reservation to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also extended to a delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years."

So Ratzinger was directly in charge of dealing with kid rapists and church doctrine from 1981 until 2005, and did such a great job he got promoted.

Time to fast-track that bugger to Saint!

binky (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2013 at 8:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I remember Joe saying (I'm not sure if this was before or after he was made pope) that the American media was making too big a deal out of the child rape in the church, saying it was a very small amount of priests involved.

To Joseph Ratzinger I would point out that the issue isn't the number of priests doing it, it's the cover up that's the issue.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2013 at 5:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"He raped a 100 children, that doesn't make him a bad guy."
- Benedict XVI

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2013 at 6:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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