First, I will re-post the story from Reuters...Then I will offer some commentary.
Pope's Sudden Resignation sends Shockwaves through Church
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY | Reuters Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:02pm EST
(Reuters) - Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on.
Church officials tried to relay a climate of calm confidence in the running of a 2,000-year-old institution, but the decision could lead to uncertainty in a Church already besieged by scandal for covering up sexual abuse of children by priests.
The soft-spoken German, who always maintained that he never wanted to be pope, was an uncompromising conservative on social and theological issues, fighting what he regarded as the increasing secularization of society.
It remains to be seen whether his successor will continue such battles or do more to bend with the times.
Despite his firm opposition to tolerance of homosexual acts, his eight year reign saw gay marriage accepted in many countries. He has staunchly resisted allowing women to be ordained as priests, and opposed embryonic stem cell research, although he retreated slightly from the position that condoms could never be used to fight AIDS.
He repeatedly apologized for the Church's failure to root out child abuse by priests, but critics said he did too little and the efforts failed to stop a rapid decline in Church attendance in the West, especially in his native Europe.
In addition to child sexual abuse crises, his papacy saw the Church rocked by Muslim anger after he compared Islam to violence. Jews were upset over rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church's business dealings, his butler was accused of leaking his private papers.
In an announcement read to cardinals in Latin, the universal language of the Church, the 85-year-old said: "Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St Peter ...
"As from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours (1900 GMT) the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."Read the rest:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/11/us-pope-resigns-idUSBRE91A0BH20130211
I would favor a South American or perhaps an African cardinal, as the European Church is too filled with 'old boys', and cardinals with dubious theological views...The fastest growing branches of the Church are in these two areas...On the other hand, I would really support a simple Irish parish priest, who was close to his flock, unassuming, and wasn't adverse to drinking some whiskey or stout...We need a Pope for the 'common man'.
As far as Benedict, or Ratzinger, he has actually wielded consider power in the Church for decades, as he was in effect, John Paul's 'think tank; when it came to doctrinal issues.
I feel that Benedict was a target for the Jewish Sanhedrin since the beginning of his term, some due to his German background, some due to his membership in the 'Hitler Youth'. He has always caved in to the Jews on political matters, and has never taken a strong stand vis-a-vis them when they have butted their rather big noses into Church affairs, especially doctrinal issues (the father Williamson affair).
The Church is highly politicized in the wrong direction, and Benedict was negligent in his support of the Palestinians (there are thousands of Christian Palestinians in Gaza), yet visited Israel, went on the obligatory 'pilgrimage' to their 'wailng wall' and hob-nobbed with their corrupt cabal in the aftermath of the 'Cast Lead' mass murder. He has made some attempts to reach out to youth, especially in Europe, due to the declining interest in the Christian faith there given the rise of rampant 'consumerism' and 'globalism', which John Paul warned about.The Roman Catholic Church has morphed into a 'neo-corporate entity' in many ways, and, in doing so, goes against Scripture and certainly the words of Jesus Christ. There is no place for corporatism in the Body of Christ, and neither is there room for political correctness in the Church, only a place for true compassion and understanding, through the grace of Christ and the Holy Spirit.Perhaps a bishop from one of the more populous and poorer regions of the globe will start a process of repentance. Hopefully, the coming conclave to elect the new Pope will be informed by the true Holy Spirit of God and not some 'other' spirit which will only lead to desolation.You may also be interested in:Maurice Pinay
An inquiring boy was talking with God one day...
'God,I have some questions I need to ask you.'
And God answers him: 'Son, what is it you need of Me?...and don't call me God, just call me Father.'
'Oh, OK...Father, I have heard that you are Eternal...but I don't understand what that means...'
'Well, son, think of it this way: For Me, a million years of your time is like just one second.'
'Wow, just one second...'
'Yes, time is different for me...But the thing about time is this: You can't always be in a hurry: You must lear to be patient, because all things come in their time...Do you understand what I mean?'
'I think so...(pauses)...Father, is there money in heaven?'
God smiles...'Son, think of it this way: A million of your dollars is just like a penny to me...My money is Love, Wisdom and the power that comes from these things...Do you understand what I say?'
The young boy is awestruck...'Yes, Father, I think I do...Wow...Father can I ask you for something?'
'Do you think I could have just a penny of your money?'
'Yes son, you certainly can...But you may have to wait just a second...'
Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, 'Art thou the King of the Iudeans?'... And Jesus said unto him, 'Thou sayest'...And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing....Then saith Pilate unto him, 'Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?'...And he gave him no answer, not even to one word: insomuch that the governor marveled greatly...Now at the feast the governor was wont to release unto the multitude one prisoner, whom they would...And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas ('son of the father')...When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, 'Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?'...For he knew that for envy they had delivered him up...And while he was sitting on the judgment-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, 'Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him'...Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus...But the governor answered and said unto them, 'Which of the two will ye that I release unto you?' And they said, 'Barabbas'...Pilate saith unto them, 'What then shall I do unto Jesus who is called Christ?'... They all say, 'Let him be crucified'... And he said, 'Why, what evil hath he done?'... But they cried out exceedingly, saying, 'Let him be crucified'...So when Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, 'I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it'...And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us, and on our children'...Then released he unto them Barabbas; but Jesus he scourged and delivered to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered unto him the whole band...And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And they platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Iudeans!'...And they spat upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head...And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the robe, and put on him his garments, and led him away to crucify him.
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to go with them, that he might bear his cross.
And they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, The place of a skull...They gave him wine to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted it, he would not drink....And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots; and they sat and watched him there...And they set up over his head his accusation written, IESUS NAZARENE KING OF IUDEA...Then are there crucified with him two robbers, one on the right hand and one on the left...And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, 'Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself: if thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross.'...In like manner also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 'He saved others; himself he cannot save. He is the King of Israel; let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe on him...He trusteth on God; let him deliver him now, if he desireth him: for he said, I am the Son of God.'...And the robbers also that were crucified with him cast upon him the same reproach.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And some of them stood there, when they heard it, said, 'This man calleth Elijah'...And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink....And the rest said, 'Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to save him'...And Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit...And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake; and the rocks were rent; and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised;and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many...Now the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, 'Truly this was the Son of God'...And many women were there beholding from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee....
Gospel of Matthew
Over 2000 years ago, on our small planet, orbiting around a relatively small star in a small corner of a Universe so vast we cannot even conceive it, God sent us His Only Son, to reconcile all differences, both on heaven and earth...It is with a feeling of awe, joy, love and humility that I wish you all a Merry Christmas!...Politiks & Ekonomiks can wait for awhile!...At least until next week...Merry Christmas to all!
My Christian Manifesto
1) I believe that Jesus Christ is the Living God, the Eternal Word which brought into creation the will of His Father and whose Holy Spirit is the source of all wisdom and understanding.
2) I believe that through His life on this earth, his teaching and love, and his ultimate sacrifice for us on the Cross of Calvary, we are saved from our sins, and are heirs to the promise of Eternal Life...'I AM the way, the truth and the life; No one comes to the Father, except by Me'.
3) I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, as received by men...the Bible is a book of history, poetry, philosophy and prophecy, which reaches it's fullness in the words of Jesus Christ...it is the logbook of man's relation to God, both for the better and the worse...however, I do not worship the Bible.
4) I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY solution to the problem's of mankind...all is reduced to His two commandments to us: Love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as you would yourself...all problems flow from man's refusal/inability to keep these simple commandments.
5) As Jesus taught us to repond to situations with a simple 'yes or no', I say 'no' all 'isms' and 'ologies'.
6) Jesus taught us that 'blessed are the peacemakers' and to 'turn the other cheek' to our enemies...so, as Christians, we are commanded to seek peace and not war...but Jesus Christ did not command us to commit suicide...rather “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed...But whensomeone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder"...we are to protect our selves and our loved ones and our nation, but first put on the 'armour of God'.
7) I believe that Christians should avoid politics...BUT, it is imperative for them to take moral positions in the battle between good and evil...and they should be prepared to suffer for their righteousness, as Our Lord suffered...we must be willing to 'take up our cross and follow Him' if we be called Christians.
8) I believe that Satan or the Devil exists: he is the 'cosmic' spirit of pride, who seeks to elevate himself above God...but, this is not possible, which makes the devil a self-deceiver and a psychopath, for he can not let go of his pride...we do not know how the devil became what he is...the Book of Job says that 'God travaileth when He brought forth the crooked serpent.'
9) I believe that God is Love, and that He created us out of this Eternal love...Jesus Christ is the personification of this Love.
10) I believe that Christianity is the foundation of all that is good and even great in Western culture...but we are in danger because we have lost sight of this basic truth...I don't believe in what they call 'apologetics'...There is no reason to apologize for the love of Jesus Christ and obeying His teaching.
In closing, I will only repeat what Jesus said to His diciples at the Last Supper: 'Love one another, as I have loved you'.