Thursday, April 01, 2010

Can The Pope Resign?

With the ongoing scandal that is the Catholic Church getting bigger and more lurid everyday, there is talk of the Pope resigning. Each day there are new revelations of abuses by church officials to cover up and protect pedophiles, including the news that the current Pope, while a cardinal, aided a pedophile priest into therapy, and then reassigned him to another parish where he began molesting young boys again.

Ireland. Germany. Australia, The US. All sites of new cases of child molestation brought against a church which still seeks to pride itself on protecting children and hating the LGBT community. Many are calling this scandal the Catholic church's Watergate, and wonder if the Pope will take the same route Nixon did in the 1970s and leave his position. So, with all this mess, people wonder if the Pope should resign; and can he, if he wanted to do so?

Well, as things stand now, and under almost any imaginable scenario, Pope Benedict--aka Benedict Arnold to the children of the church--is not about to resign. The scandal the church currently faces would be nothing compared to the scandal of a pope quitting.

But it has been done before. The last time a papal resignation occurred was during the Great Western Schism in the late 1500s and early 1600s when Pope Gregory XII issued his resignation at the Council of Constance through his delegates. The council deposed the two other rival popes, allowing for the election of a single, legitimate pope.

Before that, in 1294, there was an old Italian hermit who had been elected and named Pope Celestine V against his will. Celestine issued just two major decrees: the first provided for the abdication of a pope, and the second provided him the right to abdicate,

So, you see, it's been at least 500 years since a pope called it quits. And today, for a variety of bureaucratic reasons, it is next to impossible for a Pope to resign. The Catholic church's Code of Canon Law states--and if it sounds like gibberish, it is--that: "[i]f it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone."

Not accepted by anyone? Huh?

So, the Pope can resign, because it's been done before, but the church's own codes make it nearly impossible for him to do so.

I mean, it isn't like he's Sarah Palin or anything.


Sean said...

What difference does it make if he resigns? I'm sure there is no one who is qualified to be Pope who is not connected to this scandal.

Pilgrim said...

No, His Holiness, the Pope can´t! He is Our Lords man on earth! And he is not connected to these things! Propz Pilgrim

kinkynik said...

Yes he can .

He can tie a rope round his neck, tie that to a beam and then jump off a ladder.

Or as an old nazi get his luger out and do the decent thing.

People like pilgrim with their self serving "faith" make me puke.
The catholics are the biggest cause of misery in the world through out history.

Kyle said...

The thought of getting rid of the the current Pope is tantalizing. Unfortunately, it won't deal with the problem at hand.

The pervasive corruption within the church and the need to hide the Catholic Church's every flaw and every sinner, is too widespread for the resignation of any Pope to be effective in correcting their abusive nature toward their flocks.

Those flocks need to let church officials and other members of their communities know that they will accept nothing less than appropriate legal prosecution of all in the church that have perpetrated wrongs against those they were supposed to protect(their flock).

But what a ridiculous notion in our world. That someone should oppose their spiritual leader and expect them to be held accountable for their actions, both spiritual and legal, how preposterous.

Let's just keep pretending that nothing horrible is happening and forget we are responsible for our own lives and destinies.

I might as well be speaking French right now. It sounds beautiful, but no one who could make a difference will give a damn and nothing will change. Bob, it is truly maddening and frightening at the same time.

Old Midhurstian said...

Attractive as the idea is it would achieve nothing, his successor would simply continue the work of sweeping everything under the eclesiastical rug and the children together with the adults who were the children before will continue to suffer. Believe me that abuse is a lifelong pain.

Incidentally I read the most mind boggling piece of sophistry whereby an RC supporter stated the the church had reported a priest to the authorities (in the US somewhere) and they said they preferred not to get involved. The claim was that this showed how serious the RC church is about addressing these crimes so it isn't their fault that nothing is being done what???

Berry Blog said...

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