Posted on | February 11, 2013 | 34 Comments
The 86-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church has announced he will retire effective Feb. 28, citing poor health.
UPDATE: In a statement, Pope Benedict writes:
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”
UPDATE III: Popes nearly always die in office. How rare are papal resignations? “[T]he last time this happened, Gutenberg hadn’t yet invented the printing press,” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air, noting that Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is also “one of the Church’s greatest living theologian.”
The New York Times immediately injects a note of gracelessness:
The announcement is certain to plunge the Roman Catholic world into frenzied speculation about his likely successor and to evaluations of a papacy that was seen as both conservative and contentious.
Why is “conservative” associated with “contentious” in the liberal mind? From whom is Benedict’s papacy to receive this “evaluation”? Never mind: When you’re the New York Times, your mere assertions automatically acquire the equivalent authority of facts.
UPDATE V: In the same liberal alternative universe where people believe everything they read in the New York Times, Frankie Boyle is considered a “comedian”:
.@pontifexDon’t worry, in a few months you’ll be laughing about this. With Hitler in Hell.
— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) February 11, 2013
More than 1,400 RTs in barely four hours. Liberals are generally humorless, but they think hate is hilarious.