Jacob Baldus

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Was the Pope's resignation a dignified move?

Do you think that Pope Benedict XIV's resignation was a move of goodwill, or was it an action to maybe see who his successor is?

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    Feb 12 2013: I don't - for even a moment - believe his story behind his resignation.
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    Feb 12 2013: Jacob,

    I rather doubt the Pope or his decision can be so easily boiled down to an act of goodwill or curiosity. And, in fact, even if his health is the primary impetus at this time, I doubt even it is the only reason. The decisions of a man of his stature in an institution as complex and a world as multi-faceted as ours is not so easily defined. I expect his reasons and the process that went into them are highly complicated.

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    Feb 12 2013: Jacob,
    The pope's resignation was a "move" that will be judged and talked about in many different ways. We don't know for sure what is going on in the mind and heart of the pope, or the much broader plan of the church. Anything we talk about is speculation:>)

    I've heard interviews with many people within the church, however, who believe this is a good opportunity for the church. I agree with Edward, that "public dignity is a carefully choreographed and rehearsed requirement".
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    Feb 12 2013: Tremendous effort goes into making every public move the Pope makes appear to be dignified. Has any Vicar of Christ ever been undignified in public? I doubt it. Public dignity is a carefully choreographed and rehearsed requirement. If his replacement is a non-Caucasian I would surmise that all the current murmuring was not so far-fetched.
  • Feb 12 2013: I'm a Methodist and don't know the details and maybe should be quiet, but this is an 85-year -old man. It seems a noble gesture. Remember that dementia is not unknown in men of that age or older. This man can see the best medical doctors in the world. I assume he has an excellent prognosis of his health, and will make decisions based on that. Godspeed Pope BenedictXVI This is probably the best decision made with outstanding advisors. We're losing the old WWII vets rapidly My Dad died at the age of 87 years ago.
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      Feb 12 2013: I am very sorry to hear that. One thing that comes to mind is the fact that John Paul II, Benedict XIV's predecessor, was actually diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease four years before his death, and before that had sustained poor health, plus severe injuries dealt to him on May 13th, 1981, when Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman and member of a military fascist group known as The Grey Wolves.
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    Feb 25 2013: Don't know. You probably need to ask him his reasons.

    If he feels he isn't up to the job of leading a human organisation with a billion adherents and huge problems, fair enough.

    There are a lot of other silly traditions like preventing priests from not marrying etc that could also do with some change according to some catholics I know
  • Feb 24 2013: It came a little bit late.
    should have happened about 2,000 years ago.
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    Feb 16 2013: As far as i know he didnt even want to become pope in the first place. Besides there were some interviews about or with him in our german newspapers which led me to believe that he was a religious thinker aka a theologist putting most of his time into religious studies.

    I think he just didnt want to take all the intrigues anymore which he had to witness, and when the healthissues came he decided to bring it to an end.

    From what your media reports it seems they report diffrent things about this event then german media :D There was not even a mention of any possible powerplays like choosing his predecessor.
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    Feb 13 2013: Unless he's spritely old bugger then no, he would not be interested in succession or control. He's not Putin. If people can somehow get his diary appointments for the last three months and then find a pattern. why would he step down? You don't just release power, look at Chavez.

    As it looks, it's a modern decision that fits with the times.
  • Feb 13 2013: Considering that you present absolutely zero evidence to support your suspicions, I think you are wrong to even question the dignity of this action.
  • Feb 13 2013: Dignified? Yes if he is sick or debilitated (i.e. dementia) or if he realizes he has failed as a Christian leader, No if he wants to control his heir and keep the Church as it is (a failed organ).
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    Feb 12 2013: Thank you all for your answers, it was very interesting to hear from multiple people I have not met before talk and give your opinions on this question.
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      Feb 13 2013: That's how TED rolls Mr. Baldus. Welcome.
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    Feb 12 2013: Jacob, You have asked three questions. I will answer each but feel that a preface is necessary. The Pope is viewed with different filters. 1) He is Christs Vicor on Earth and the leader of the church. 2) He is the head of state of a city nation the Vatican and therefore a politician.

    Kant said that dignity must have value ... and that value is dependent upon the observers judgement.

    I thought I knew what dignified means .. I was wrong. I then looked up dignity. Again my defination was in the ball park but the narrative set me straight. So in a new light:

    1. Was it dignified: That is an observers judgement.

    2. Was it a move of Goodwill: We can speculate but are not privy to all of the facts. History will decide this.

    3. Regarding successors: In my opinion, Popes select their College of Cardinals .. by doing this they surround themselves with people who are in support of the direction he wishes the church to go. The college of cardinals are the "elector" of the next Pope. In this manner he has sway in choosing his successor. Again .. IMO ... I would doubt if the Pope would come forward and say I want Joe. The Cardinals will decide the direction of the church in their selection ... to follow what is in place or to change directions.

    I am not Catholic and cannot say all of the above is true facts. They are my perception.

    I am only guessing here but I feel that this was a matter of great discussion between the pope and his advisors prior to the announcement. I would think this was a team decision. Viewing the decision in that light ... I feel that this decision was political not religious ... I base this on the fact that his direction and doctrine are well entrenched and could be carried out by cardinals and bishops even if the Pope were incapicated. However, the duties of state, travel, leading meetings, and recieving heads of state may have at times been limited or embarressing as the media would highlight any misstep.
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    Feb 12 2013: I have not read very much about this, but it certainly seems he felt his age was interfering with, or likely to interfere with, his duties.

    It would seem extremely unlikely for a Pope to depart from a 600 year tradition of serving until death just out of curiosity over who might succeed him. Is there not some sort of hierarchy that suggests in any case who would be on the short list of contenders?
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      Feb 12 2013: CBS News reported, "It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor, though he will not himself vote. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals – the princes of the church who will elect the next pope – to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.

      Contenders include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s office for bishops.


      A dark horse may be a Cardinal from Latin American. The region has the world's largest concentration of Catholics. Joao Braz de Aviz, the sole Latin American among 22 newly created Catholic cardinals, criticised the Church in 2012 for being too Euro-centric."