Most days I wake up in the morning and have a pretty solid idea what is going on. However, since the eleventh of February, I have woken up every morning in a state of flux. My having influenza did not have anything to do with this predicament, nor did my ever-growing pile of schoolwork. This happenstance relates to the bizarre and sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
Okay, so I am not really suffering from sleep apnea or waking up every morning questioning my decision-making (I do that every day). I am Catholic, and it may affect my views, but I digress.
The last Pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415. To put that in perspective, Columbus was 77 years away from sailing the famed ocean blue. For anyone reading this, we are in unfamiliar territory. There is still a pope right now, but what happens on the first day of March?
The College of Cardinals will have to convene in preparation for the selection of a new pope. Many feel that this may be the first time a non-European is elected as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. However, many felt that a South American was going to be named the new Pope in 2005, only to see a German elected to the Vatican.
I remember a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD, our Sunday school) teacher telling us that there was some sort of prophecy that spoke of a Western pope. I will be surprised if it happens in my lifetime, but then again, I could be wrong within a few years of thinking it would never occur.
So the main question is, why did Pope Benedict XVI resign? At first, it was attributed to “lack of strength of mind and body.” At the ripe old age of 85, that seemed like a more than reasonable explanation to me. However, in the past few days it has been revealed that something else may have been behind his decision to step down from the papacy.
Many people know about the history of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It isn’t breaking news. Unfortunately, a related matter may be the reason why the pope is stepping down. According to Britain’s famed The Guardian newspaper, a report has surfaced that links many high ranking Vatican prelates (cardinals, bishops) with homosexuality.
According to the report, these prelates were being blackmailed by outsiders. The pope allegedly knew of these documents and had decided to step down from the papacy on the seventeenth of December in 2012.
This interesting case leaves me rather perplexed. Cases like this really question my religion. I admit that I am not as active in the church anymore. However, with all these scandals rocking the Catholic Church, I am really starting to worry about my faith. I am sure that I am not the only one doing so.