Gut reaction to Pope’s resignation: I don’t care

When I heard the Pope was resigning, my first thought was, “I didn’t know they could do that.” Apparently they can, it just hasn’t happened in 600 years. People are wondering what this could mean, but personally I suspect that all it means is that the Church figured out the “Pope until you die” thing was a bad idea.

There are also people cheering this, but I expect the next Pope to be roughly as bad as Ratzinger. He could even be worse. I saw one report via Twitter suggesting Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who has defended the criminalization of homosexuality, could be Pope next. I was initially skeptical of this, but apparently Turkson leads in the odds being given by a couple of British betting houses (~40%). Make of that what you will–personally, my money’s on the cardinals realizing it would be a bad idea to pick someone quite that extreme.

I spite of that, I do have this to say about the outgoing Pope:

  • Hauke Bahr

    I didn’t really care either until I saw that this – – is a possible result and that makes the whole thing more interesting to me.

  • toddt39

    You really dont care? You care a little bit, dont cha? When you look in the mirror and you are loving yourself, and saying in a soft voice how much you love yourelf, you are really saying “I will miss that old guy”. Afterall you went to the trouble of posting your thoughts on the internet which says a lot or nothing at all.

  • Skepticali

    I think Tim Minchin speaks for the majority of sane, free people.

  • Andrew G.

    The only aspect of marginal interest is that either the Prophecy of the Popes will be proved definitively wrong, or the church (and/or the world) comes to an end. The only remaining entry on the list (after all previous popes including Ratzinger are accounted for) is:

    “In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End.”

    • Schaden Freud

      I must confess I’ve been vaguely interested to see how the Prophecy of Popes works out. About as well as the Mayan Apocalypse Prophecy, would be my guess, but there was always the chance that the poisonous old bastard really would be assassinated.

  • sailor1031

    It’s been my belief that Ratty was elected as a caretaker pope while the real powers that run RCC Inc figured out who they want to head the corporation. Now they’ve obviously decided and Ratty, bearing in mind the suspicious death of JP1 and the attempted assassination of JP2, is going quietly as ordered.

  • eric

    I saw one report via Twitter suggesting Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who has defended the criminalization of homosexuality, could be Pope next.

    Huh, my thoughts went the other way: the church has decided that Ratzinger’s conservative line-holding approach has failed. This is such an historically unusual decision, I can’t imagine them retiring him unless they want to make some major policy shift that would require him gone. If they planned on continuing with the exact same policies, they could’ve just let him serve out his time as a figurehead.
    So, I’m guessing they’ll put in someone who will have a more forward-looking or conciliatory position on gays, crime reporting within the church, and Islam (or at least one of those three. Realistically, we can’t really expect change on all of them).

    • LeftWingFox

      I doubt it. The areas where Catholicism is actually growing are the areas where the faith is at it’s most regressive, hence the talk of Peter Turkson. From a purely practical standpoint, the leadership probably feels they’re gaining more Catholics by rolling back to older traditions than they’re losing from those same policies.

      • eric

        I would actually say that’s the idealistic standpoint. Counting converts is what they should do if they care about souls. The ‘purely practical’ standpoint is to count income, in which case the loss of a 1st world active contributer is about 10x worse than the gain of a 3rd world active contributor. I point this out because if the RCC is concerned about things like their power and influence as a political entity in the world, they do in fact have to be very concerned about how their social policies are playing to 1st world catholics and potential converts.

        In any event I find the resignation historically interesting. Also potentially politically interesting because there may be some interesting politics behind it. Or maybe not, we’ll have to see.

  • Bob Jase

    Does it make a difference as his successor will be one of his longtime cronies with the same regressive agenda and history of pedophile cover-ups?

    Maybe they should just pick a nice hougan and really shake things up.

  • Michael

    Old Ratzi was told right from the start to stop paying out millions to the victims of rapist priests. He failed miserably and the bankers told him go. He’s the first Pope in 600 years to resign because he’s the first pope in 600 years to cost the Vatican money.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wait! The Cardinals choose the next Pope? I thought it was God Himself(tm). Something to do with a wisp of smoke. That’s the way it was explained to me by my Catholic ex-girlfriend more than a decade and half ago. Or is that something they just tell the flock to maintain the Mystery(tm)?

  • Loren Petrich

    My reaction – a song from 25 years ago in Holland (“Popie Jopie”):

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

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