I’m sure everyone has now heard the news that Pope Benedict XVI is hanging it up at the end of the month.
Pope Benedict XVI shocked Roman Catholics on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in six centuries.Speaking in Latin to a small gathering of cardinals at the Vatican on Monday morning, Benedict said that after examining his 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 leading the world’s one billion Roman Catholics.
The statement, soon translated into seven languages, ricocheted around the globe.
He is the head of one of the largest corporate entities on the planet with branch offices all over the globe and with a brand loyalty in some places that is the envy of Disney and Coca-Cola. He and his corporation control one of the largest fortunes in the world — mostly without any tax obligation — and own more property than some small countries.
A lot of people say that the Roman Catholic church has done many good deeds. They run schools, they feed the poor, and offer spiritual support for those who believe. But the fact remains that they have a history going back thousands of years of institutionalized torture, cruelty, misogyny, genocide, oppression, rape, sexual abuse, and shady financial dealings that would shame the most amoral among us, all in the name of their brand. The departure of one leader for another means very little in the long history of this enterprise, and the new pope will likely be a relatively younger copy of the one who is leaving.
No truth to the rumor that he wanted to spend more time with his family….