In wake of B16 resignation…

In wake of B16 resignation… February 11, 2013

…world media assumes heavy burden of

a) gossiping about why a humble and weak old man is turning his office over to somebody stronger and better able to do it and

b) telling the Church who that needs to be–because they are so qualified to do that.

This is the hour when having a heirarchy of ents that is totally out of touch with global media opinion and tragically unhip really pays off. Global media will have almost zero impact on the outcome of the conclave. And words cannot express how grateful I am for that.

A word to world media experts on the papacy. When you Google him be sure to include “Pope” or “XVI” and “-Cumberbatch”, lest you confuse your pretty heads about the state of play in the Church. There’s also no truth to the rumor that the Pope is resigning to voice the role of Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy.

Meanwhile, if you actually want to know what’s going on, here is what you do: turn off every voice in the MSM and pay attention to these three guys:

John Allen

Rocco Palmo

Matthew Bunson

Best commentary so far: “The Pope is really setting a high bar for giving something up for Lent.”

Also great: “Pope joins Twitter, loses interest in his real job.”

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  • Beccolina

    I cringed when I heard the news this morning, not because of his choice, but because of all the gossip and (usually uncharitable) assumptions that were sure to follow. I’m afraid I did think, “Oh, couldn’t he hold out through Easter!”

  • MarylandBill

    Actually the rumor I heard was that he was offered a part in the next Star Wars film :). I will remove my tongue from my cheek now.

    I think resigning probably requires quite a lot more courage than most people are giving him credit for right now…. even those of us who are saying it is a courageous decision.

    • Kenneth

      “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not!”
      I commend the guy for an act of humility and integrity to admit he’s not up to the job. There’s something megalomaniacal about imperial figures who cling to power for months and years after they’re incapacitated, pretending they’re fully in charge when aides and regents are running the show and signing documents with a guy’s limp or shaking hands.

      • Maybe. But in a society that is rushing to euthanize the infirm and elderly (and already doing it in some places), holding on to the end can be in a very real sense a martyrdom, a witness to the value of even the “unlebenswert Leben”.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    I liked the commentary: “Pope joins Twitter, loses interest in his real job.”

  • Your John Allen link takes readers to a ritually impure source. Brace yourself.

    • It’s OK, as long as you wear gloves and shades.

      • Or rather, it is almost OK. There is still the issue that they are using the name “Catholic” in violation of canon law. I could run a newspaper with nothing in it but extracts from the writings of the Church Fathers, but if my bishop told me not to use “Catholic” in the title (it’s his call), and I continued to do it, good Catholics would be right to look askance at my publication. The “ritually impure” articles from the National “Catholic” Reporter that Mark likes to quote are not exactly on the level of Patristic extracts, and they do draw eyes to a publication that is not just dancing on the line, they are over the line.

        Now maybe this errant publication has some articles of value, just like someone in the 1st century could have found nutritious meat for sale at reduced price after it had been offered to idols. This is the “ritual impurity” Mark Shea refers to. We all know what St. Paul said about this, right? “Don’t just eat the meat, flaunt it and make sure everyone knows you are eating the meat. Make sure to make fun of your brethren who disapprove while doing this. In this is your Heavenly Father greatly pleased.” Oh, wait. St. Paul didn’t actually say that, did he? No; for one thing, the sentences are much too short. For another, he said exactly the opposite.

  • The NY Times piece today was disgusting. (Not that it’s surprising)

  • These words of Jesus explain it all very well:
    John 15:18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

  • Dante Aligheri

    I was fairly put off by the Yahoo! “News” section. They couldn’t find one positive thing to say.

    God Bless Pope Benedict XVI. He was a terrific scholar and theologian for the modern world, and I will miss him greatly. He was the first Pope I was really familiar with because I was just entering high school when Bl. Pope John Paul II passed.

  • Liz

    I made the unfortunate choice to read the comment box at one of my local secular newspaper’s websites. Not one single comment was kind or charitable in any way. Nothing but gossip, wild speculation, insults, and filth. I’m not surprised, just saddened.

    • Steve P

      We have to be careful we don’t break an arm patting ourselves on the back…
      Sadly, we deserve much of the “hate” that’s directed at the Church and its leaders. We delude ourselves into thinking that they are hating us for our faithful witness to the Gospel. BS. They are hating the damnable sins and failures of the past few decades, and we earned much of what we get. Do some bitter people use the scandal to justify turning their back on the Church? Absolutely. But we have to swallow that as further fruit of these sins, before condemning others of hate.
      A related defense that really has begun to bother me: wearing the corruption of Church leaders as a mark of distinction. What do I mean? Just earlier today, I heard a priest on Catholic radio affirming the guidance of the Holy Spirit in choosing a new pope. All well and good. But he glosses over the abominable popes of the Middle Ages with something like, “Were some of them less than ideal? Yes, but fortunately they didn’t mess with any of the important stuff…” Really?!? Like causing such deep-seated scandal and disillusionment that people like Martin Luther felt they had no other choice but to take matters into their own hands? How many souls do you think have been lost since the splintering of the Reformation? We have not finished drinking from this bitter draught, and yet we’ve ordered up another round in our own time.
      We’ve let the Spotless Bride of Christ roll around in the filth, and we can’t be surprised that some of it sticks.

      • MarylandBill

        The Catholic Church has had its failures in the last few decades, no doubt about it, but our failures are not that we are an evil organization but that our humans are no better than all the other humans. I.e., all the sins that have been laid at the feet of the Church are sins that are at least as common in the secular world, its just the media loves using them against the Church.

      • “… people like Martin Luther felt they had no other choice but to take matters into their own hands?” So, you looked into his soul and judged that he honestly, humbly, sincerely came to the conclusion that he had no other choice? You’re sure it wasn’t a demonic glee at ripping half of Europe from the sacraments?

        If, as I am so often told, we cannot pretend to condemn someone based on what we IMAGINE to be their interior motives, neither can we excuse them because we IMAGINE them to be honest.

  • I’m a Protestant, and am surprised at the vitriol from people I know who are CATHOLICS on Facebook and elsewhere toward this Pope.

    • All too true, sadly!

    • Pat D.

      The trolls are coming out of the woodwork.

      “Pope gives up Catholicism for Lent!”
      “Pope cites advanced age as reason for resigning – this age is indeed too advanced for popes!”
      “I did Nazi that one coming!”

      I really, really hate the internet sometimes.

      • Pat D., I think I know you- I’m Greg from the thread! : )