General Question

ucme's avatar

Pope Benedict announces imminent resignation: Time to elect a younger pontiff?

Asked by ucme (39476 points ) February 11th, 2013

Apparently, at 85 he feels he’s too old to fulfil his papal duties on grounds of ill-health. The first Pope to resign his office in generations, he’ll be gone at the end of the month.
Now, i’m not at all religious & have no real interest in this story, but it does seem prudent that a much younger candidate be considered, in the interest of longevity if nothing else.
What say you?

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26 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Good. No put that old, reactionary, child rapist protecting bavarian c*nt into a jail cell and throw away the key.

ucme's avatar

I concur, never took to the fella, nazi youth member, not an endearing addition to his CV.
John Paul II, now that guy was cool, as fuck actually.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not on ly a younger buy, but a more liberal, practical guy who can understand that the world has changed since the 1700s.

This would be a great opportunity to have a pope from the US or Asia or Africa—- we have had far too many Euro-centric popes.

Time for some new blood.

zenvelo's avatar

The problem with electing a young pontiff is you end up with someone in office for 30 or more years. This is, usually, a lifetime election. And what the church really needs is another John XXIII. A priest of the people and he parish, who understands the struggle of modern life and the realities of what a person who wishes to do his or her best, but is only human.

Seek's avatar

Damn! You beat me. I couldn’t figure out how to post links from my phone.

Does it weird anyone else out that the last time someone “quit” the papacy uncontested was in the 1200s?

Seek's avatar

Here it is, The Guardian has a real-time updating article with all the gossip.

filmfann's avatar

Malachy’s prophecies say that the new Pope will be the last, and his reign will end with the destruction of Rome. (It is my belief that the destruction of Jerusalem was the correct interpretation)
Other prophecies say that this will be a time of two Popes, which is nicely self-fulfilled with the resignation of a Pope. Benedict will live in retirement while the other lives in the Vatican.
Some interpretations say that this new Pope will be Satan the Great Deceiver, and will be the third Anti-Christ. Hopefully, that prophecy will not be self-fulfilled.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
wundayatta's avatar

Who… or what—is Malachy? Why should anyone care what he says?

So you’ve got a bunch of old guys sitting around, trying to select a new Pope. Are they going to select someone who is going to be around for a long time, making it impossible for them to ever become Pope? I doubt it. Also, what old man is going to trust someone ten or twenty years younger than they are?

They call Benedict a “transition” pope, but he was in the seat for seven years. That seems pretty long to me. I suspect that we will continue to see “transition” popes. Everyone is a transition from one bit of time to the next.

All the cardinals were appointed by John-Paul or Benedict. They are all in the same mold. I think we will see no great change from the next pope or from any pope, and it doesn’t matter where in the world they come from. The Church has a billion members. It is doing very well. It shepards one seventh of the world’s population. There is no reason for much change. There is every reason to keep things going as they are. There is no reason to elect someone young. There is every reason to elect a stable old head who will keep things going as they are.

I think it makes sense to think of this as an issue of administrative change. The spiritual issues are a side show. What is important is property and political power and stability. What is important is for the Church to extend itself into places like China and the Muslim world. Or, for China and the Muslim world to extend themselves into territory that is the Churches. Or even best—for both to coexist in each other’s territory. That will lead to greater world stability, and hopefully to an end to fanaticism. Though I’m not sure how to end fanaticism.

mazingerz88's avatar

Younger or older is not the essential issue. It’s electing someone who won’t be in denial that the Church is inevitably going to be overwhelmed with secularism. And all that he could hope for is for the Church to live on as long as it could.

glacial's avatar

@filmfann Self-fulfilling prophecy being the only sort I believe in, that story is worrying. Let’s hope the church is not as powerful as they appear in Dan Brown novels.

LostInParadise's avatar

For those who have not been paying attention, the Catholic church has been going through a crisis. Whoever gets appointed as the next pope had better make sure that priests who are child abusers get weeded out immediately. If the situation does not improve, there will be no way to reverse the decline in church membership.

In general, the Catholic church faces a choice. It can either hold onto its large number of members by easing up on matters like homosexuality and birth control, or it can maintain its current position with a considerably smaller membership. It can’t do both. The times they are a-changing. At some point, the Church may just give up on developed countries. It might be a smart move to choose the next pope from Asia or Africa.

wundayatta's avatar

What decline in church membership?

There is no accurate data about church membership worldwide. It’s all estimates based on dubious sources. The Churches probably all claim increases in membership. So any claims for increases or decreases need to be greeted with skepticism. There is no basis other than wishful thinking to claim the church is rising or falling in membership.

Seek's avatar

@filmfann There have been a couple of times when there has been more than one Pope. In fact, once there were three and they all excommunicated each other. Fun times.

CWOTUS's avatar

They can’t very well nominate an older one, now, can they?

zenvelo's avatar

@filmfann “the third Anti-Christ ” implies there were two already. Other than Henry Kissinger, who else are you talking about?

ucme's avatar

Not very often I dip into general, bless you my children & may your god go with you…or not as the case may be :-)

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think not, I think the Pope needs to remain an older and hopefully wiser person.

ucme's avatar

Hey, @KNOWITALL actually answered the question, not many did, but that’s okay…i’m flexible :¬)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ucme LOL, I need structure and lots of it!

filmfann's avatar

@wundayatta and @glacial St. Malachy’s prophecy came in the 1400’s, I think. He gave descriptions for the next 112 popes. His prophecy is remarkably accurate, to the point that eager cardinals try to ensure they are elected pope by embracing whatever the prophecy said. For example, one cardinal sailed to Rome on a boat full of sheep, when the description of the next pope was “Sailor and Shepard”.

@zenvelo Current belief is that Napoleon and Hitler are the first two embodiments of the Anti-Christ.

@Seek_Kolinahr The Holy See only recognizes 1 pope during those times. The others are considered Anti-Popes. Fun fact: There have been 3 Pope Benedict XIV’s!

glacial's avatar

@filmfann Well… sure the prophecies are remarkably accurate. They almost never describe things the popes did; they mainly play on the popes’ names or their coats of arms or regions of origin. I would imagine there was at least one candidate in every round who could be made to fit the bill. And if not, it wouldn’t be difficult to make sure that one was put on a boat with some sheep.

Some people have been calling Peter Turkson “Peter the Roman” for some time because they know about Malachy’s prophecy. You don’t think the same kind of thing would have occurred throughout history?

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, time for a younger and more progressive Pope. It’s time for a Third Vatican Council:

- women can become Pope
– bishops, cardinals and popes are democratically elected by all Catholics
– male and female priests can marry if they wish
– non-Catholic Christians are invited to the eucharist meal
– the Catholic faith consists of spiritual truths not absolute truths

I could go on and create a list of 50 items or more

ucme's avatar

Nice answer @mattbrowne, as always, concise & right on the money…thanks.

wundayatta's avatar

@mattbrowne From your pen to the Cardinals’ eyes. But I won’t be holding my breath. These cardinals were all appointed by JeanPaul and Benedict. They won’t be making any changes. Hope I’m wrong, though.

mattbrowne's avatar

@wundayatta – I agree. They won’t, unless there’s a Gorbachev-style cardinal keeping his reform plans secret keeping a conservative image for now. No one would have thought that the Soviet Union would ever change… So, there’s a tiny spark of hope. The election of the conclave 2005 was leaked to an Italian journalists. About one third of the cardinals had progressive tendencies.

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