Pope Benedict is resigning. How interesting, How fascinating. How utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Electing a Pope does makes for good TV, though. Who doesn’t love a good Pope Watch.
Is that smoke black or white? Looks a little grey. Let’s get the pundits in here to discuss.
Or better yet, since Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI didn’t actually die, and there is no nine days of official mourning, we could have a few weeks of Pope Idol and let these robed guys show their stuff. Text P-O-P-E to vote now.
No disrespect is intended. Really. I get how much the members of the Catholic faith love their Pope, whoever he happens to be. This is a big deal for practicing Catholics. What I don’t quite get is why it’s a big deal for the rest of us. But here we are…again…contemplating who the next Pope will be as if the election will change the face of the church and society as a whole.
I’m sorry, but unless the new Pope plans to include women, homosexuals, and sexual abuse survivors in the discussions of how the church will choose to interpret faith and law, it remains an antiquated organization bound by tradition, ritual, and an adherence to what I can only call a secret code of misogynist tomfoolery and I don’t need daily updates on who will be leading their charge.
The election of a new Pope is an insignificant event to the majority of people on this planet.
I do feel a little sad for Benny. I imagine he had the best intentions when he joined the church in his twenties and I am sure he was, as he should be, honored to be called on by his peers to lead the church these last seven years. He used his enormous pulpit to preach what mattered to him and church theatrics helped keep the camera on him every step of the way. But he was a little late to the game and missed out on the greatness that was the Catholic Church. His views, conservative and unyielding, were more than this world could handle. The world, as it tends to do, kept moving forward despite Benedict’s protestations.
Sometime in the next few weeks the Cardinals will elect a new leader. They will choose a man to represent the church they love so much and the values to which they cling. Catholics will all be on pins and needles waiting for the new Pope to appear on the balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square. Bells will ring. Prayers will be said. The faithful will shed tears of joy.
The rest of us will merely hope for good things and cling, perhaps, to a less tethered faith that tells us the compassion of an ancient church will one day have to live up to the teachings its sacred book promotes.
Farewell Joseph. Please pack your robes and go.