Pope Benedict XVI is too tired and must resign, he says. It is the first resignation of a pope in 700 years. Why does this even matter to me? Mostly, it does not as it surely has no influence in MY life BUT in a way it does because this institution directs its clergy in hypocritical fashion from the pulpit in our country and around the world to advocate for political issues that suppress and most importantly oppress human beings spending money against policy it does not like. It has influence on voters.
The Austrian born Pope Benedict XVI I thought was ugliness incarnate from the time he was selected Pope. Charles Dickens could not have given him a better name – The former Cardinal Ratzinger. He had a childhood in the Nazi Youth and I believe continued to hold some of the ideological and anti-Semitic views with which he was infused at a young age. It was evidenced by certain tolerances by him of priests who would conduct in Latin the inclusion of century’s old anti-Semitic passages in the mass which had been long erased from its liturgy. He apologized to the Jewish people more than once.
As an adult in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, he was in control of the hidden sex scandals and other corruptions which saturated the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, aka the Inquisition, a morphed institution he once led. The church has tortured and slaughtered in its history many -- many Jews and others it considered heretics. Now while it does not physically slaughter it emotionally still does. It stands silent in the face of a great sin against humanity with the massive sexual abuse of children by hundreds of its priests around the world and then actively for decades covered those unthinkable crimes up.
I recently viewed "Mea Culpa: Silence in the House of God" an HBO documentary by the great Alex Gibney. Its synopsis in part says:
[Mea Culpa] investigates the secret crimes of Father Lawrence Murphy, a charismatic Milwaukee priest who abused more than 200 Deaf children in a school under his control. The film documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the U.S., which led to a case that spanned three decades and ultimately resulted in a lawsuit against the pontiff himself. The investigation helped uncover documents from the secret Vatican archives that show the Pope, who must operate within the mysterious rules of the Roman Curia, as both responsible and helpless in the face of evil.
Many popes, including this present one, ignored these crimes. The church tries to keep this evidence and its silence behind its walls while they move those accused priests around the world like pawns on a checkerboard and do nothing for its victims. This corrupt and disordered celibate institution will probably conduct business as usual and its great perversion against children will go on. Since we are not living in the Middle Ages (or at least I THINK we are not) resignation of this pope will make no difference to most but the church in its infinite odious wisdom will continue to advocate for policies against women and advocate against, in mind numbing hypocrisy, ALL forms of gay rights even though the institution of the church contains many adult innocent homosexual priests within it. It did nothing about the TRUE crimes it perpetrated and would still be doing nothing, hiding in the dark to this day if not for the press blowing the scandal sky high to see the light of day.
The church could finally, now, have an opportunity to remake itself, ultimately reopen churches to their faithful and in so doing fill its coffers with the gold it lost. I am sure, however, it will not remake much.
I submit the Pope is NOT too pooped although the church will surely take advantage of his age in its explanation of his resignation. No, I suspect the Pope is NOT too pooped but rather has soaked his own hands in blood by the acquiescence of his Church’s own sexual abuse of children. This damn spot, like Lady Macbeth's, cannot be washed out.