Pope Benedict resigns

February 12th, 2013 at 8:05 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Pope Benedict says in a historic announcement he no longer has the mental and physical strength to run the Roman Catholic Church and will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, leaving his inner circle “incredulous”.

Church officials tried to relay a climate of calm confidence in the running of a 2000-year-old institution but the decision could lead to one of the most uncertain and unstable periods in centuries for a Church besieged by scandal and defections.

The last Pope to resign was Pope Gregory XI in 1378 and the last voluntary resignation was Pope Celestine V in 1294.

In a general sense I think it is a good think when leaders retire, rather than carry on until death – no matter how infirm. Pope Benedict may have helped set a useful precedent for the future.

I note with monarchies that today many monarchs will  live to be 100, which means that their children may not succeed to the throne until they are 70 years old – or older. A retirement age would be a sensible thing.

Resigning after just eight years may put some pressure on the College on Cardinals to elect a younger Pope.  No doubt in the following weeks speculation will focus on who his successor will be.

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114 Responses to “Pope Benedict resigns”

  1. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Perhaps after 85 years he’s finally seen the light.

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  2. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Gregory XII is the last pope who resigned (in 1415 AD), not Gregory XI.

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  3. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    I’m not surprised that bigot bruv was first off the blocks this morning with a silly gloat. What a wanker!

    All the best to Ratzinger in his retirement. Clearly an honest man who takes his role seriously and knows he is no longer able to do the job to his full ability. A pity so many politicians don’t have the same attitude to their duties and are in it only for what they can get.

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  4. toms (299 comments) says:

    Come on Liz, pack it in and give Charlie a look at the fox.

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  5. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    It’s a very sad day.

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  6. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    Smart move. Guaranteeing he’s remembered as the first pope in x hundred years to resign, rather than for his nazi affiliations in his youth or his cover ups for paedophile priests in later life.

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  7. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @Lucia Maria
    No not a sad day, the man knows he will decline soon and wants the post to be dignified.
    I am impressed by Pope Benedicts wisdom.

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  8. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    The Pope is ill and forced to retire. Let his old tired person rest. Period.

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  9. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Changing captains on the Titanic…after entering the ice prone area..

    Because most of the curia capable of voting have been picked by him, the result will probably be another Captain Smith….that’ll work well….

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  10. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Lucia, through your veil of tears, do tell us why it’s “a sad day” ? If anything, as others have said, it is a somewhat bold and very sensible step by an otherwise pretty undistinguished Bishop of Rome…

    James: You are being unkind…they have been covering up for paedophile priests for hundreds of years…this guy is no better or worse…

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  11. Mobile Michael (451 comments) says:

    The Dutch Queen retired a few weeks ago, they don’t believe in reigning until death but handing over to a younger generation before getting too old. Benedict has made the right call to go now, at his age he is basically unable to travel beyond Europe and most Catholics are in central and southern Africa, parts of Asia, and South America.

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  12. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    they have been covering up for paedophile priests for hundreds of years…this guy is no better or worse…

    Yes David, but this guy was the subject of a lawsuit alleging he covered up abuse and he used diplomatic immunity to avoid it.

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  13. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Before he was elected pope he was instrumental in the child abuse cover ups in the church. There is no doubt a special part of hell which he will be confined do when he does us all the grace by dying as soon as possible.

    An evil fuck in charge of a ghastly institution.

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  14. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    As a left-footer I have to say that I am also deflated by this news. However, I suspect that the fact that the Pope resigned on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is significant – it’s a day of prayer for the sick. Ultimately, authentic Catholicism puts its faith in the office – not the particular office-holder.

    Cue the nastiness from those who like to kick someone when they are down – especially from the know-nothings this blog seems to attract in high numbers.

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  15. Danny-boy (102 comments) says:

    … and the Rebel Alliance from streets of Coruscant to the forest moon of Endor celebrate.

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  16. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    James Stephenson – “subject of a [civil] law-suit” ≠ guilty or even credibly accused.

    I would be surprised if you, or anyone here, was sufficiently conversant with the facts to offer an informed opinion.

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  17. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Good on him, seems like a sensible un-full-of-self-importance decision.

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  18. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    sufficiently conversant with the facts

    The fact is he used diplomatic immunity to avoid facing a lawsuit and that wasn’t the only allegation of specific complicity in covering for abuser priests either. Regardless of the actual truth, which I can’t be arsed to argue about, it’s a fact that such smoke (which you don’t get without fire etc) swirled around him for much of his time in office and the point is that today’s announcement neatly ensures that that won’t be the #1 fact that history remembers him for.

    Like I said, smart move.

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  19. Brian Harmer (687 comments) says:

    It will be intiguing to see how the existence of a living “former pope” is handled. Whoever is elected by the consitory (not the Curia, David Garret, but all 120 or so cardinals around the world under the age of 80) will be the first pope in 600 years with a living predecessor looking over his shoulder. There is talk of Benedict entering a monastery or some such, but unlike the last time it happened, this one has a twitter account.

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  20. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Aparently the frontrunner to take over is Cardinal Mario Sicola from Milan. Pope Sicola

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  21. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    As long as it to be remembered the new Pope will be an Italian.
    Pope Benedict, to those Catholics I have known, is as a “B….. German”.
    They are best described as of older European Catholic families – ask any Melbournian Catholic of Italian extraction

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  22. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    James Stephenson – you are attributing extraordinarily cynical motives to somebody who, at 85 and sick, probably very nearly believes he is going to meet a maker he very strongly believes in. I don’t buy that his ‘legacy’ is something he believes is all that important. He’s not David Cameron and he’s not Barack Obama.

    In a way, the most painful thing about this resignation is going to be weeks of sweeping declarations and comment by people who know nothing about Catholicism and very little about history – and who think a little knowledge about contemporary politics somehow translates to the Papacy. I expect nastiness and ignorance in equal measure.

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  23. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    One thing I will say about the identity of the successor is not to put too much stock in anything the ‘Vaticanologists’ say. They consistently get it wrong. Few predicted B16, nobody predicted JP2.

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  24. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    As a catholic I find Benedicts move refreshing. It is a hugely demanding role and given the history of the Church and the expectations of the faithful it is a courageous move. weeks of intrigue and Speculation are sure to precede appointment of his replacement.

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The Catholic Church ought to be sued into oblivion for covering up child abuse. It’s a corrupt organization.

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  26. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    @Cato – seriously? A man dedicates his life to climbing the greasy pole to the top of the most corrupt organisation this side of FIFA, the IOC or the UN to a role that traces and records every office holder back to Saint Peter himself and you don’t think he believes his legacy is all that important? Ok then…

    Yes I know I’m being cynical, but it’s amazing how often cynicism is right on the mark when it comes to human beings who hold a lot of power.

    Red bling gratefully accepted, what can I spend it on?

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  27. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    I think it’s a good move, and I hope it sets a precedent. I suspect he may be unwell (beyond just being infirm), but I guess we’ll find that out in time.

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  28. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    Maybe he got around to reading a copy of the god delusion and realised he’d been living a lie.

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  29. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @rangitoto
    Aren’t you late for school… hurry along.

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  30. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    James Stephenson – oh great Vaticanologist – what’s your evidence for the idea that Joseph Ratzinger “dedicate[d] his life to climbing the greasy pole” – instead of being a shy bookworm and a reluctant Pope? Weird that he had asked JP2 to be allowed to retire to the Vatican Library in 1997 if he had dedicated his life to being Pope. I guess you are the great expert on all things Papal though – so I’m sure you just have oodles of knowledge about the life and times of Joseph Ratzinger.

    Get a grip.

    The reality is that these retirements will happen more and more often. There have been 265 Popes – and all but 6 of them lived in a time before penecillin was invented. The idea of popes retiring due to advanced age is something that it will be hard for Catholics to get used to – but it is something that we will have to do.

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  31. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    A very dignified and holy man recognises his growing frailty, and demonstrating great humility, is stepping down. All catholics throughout the world recognise him as probably the greatest theologian in recent times, and the possessor of a huge intellect.

    And of course, the usual wankers – David Garrett, James Stevenson et al – spilling thier half truths and total lies are at it again, condemning him for what he did not do, and as someone elsr above mentioned, have no concept of Catholicism and no knowledge of history.

    And get it right, you dumb vitriol spewers – the problem was not paedophilia but homosexuality. But you turn your blind eyes away, becauase, you know, homosexuals are really nice and thimply couldn’t do that sort of thing to teanage boys.

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  32. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    A good move on his part, but I’m dreading the media circus that has already begun.

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  33. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg, um, sorry but that isn’t true.
    You’ve been listening to the liberal media too long.

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  34. cha (4,014 comments) says:

    This kicker, who has been baptised, received communion and been confirmed, was for many years ambivalent about the church and its catechisms but the delirium of an aged dementia sufferer changed that.

    This kicker now lives in hope that the exposing of the extent of the boy fucking peccadillo’s of it’s clergy, the efforts of the elite enablers to excuse their behaviour and the moral bankruptcy of the lay apologists who try to minimise the crimes will cause the collapse of the whole stinking edifice.

    edit: Don the Kiwi apologist, go fuck yourself.

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  35. Yvette (2,819 comments) says:

    The Guardian outlines five issues for the next Pope’s in-tray –

    Contraception and Aids
    Sexual abuse within the church
    Homosexuality and same-sex marriage
    Abortion
    Women – equality, ordination and priestly celibacy

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  36. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    ‘following weeks’ – will not be that many weeks. Usually (from media comments) there is 9 days mourning and the ‘conclave’ starts. Seems the ‘conclave’ could start 1 March (when incumbent’s resignation is effective) and it could all be ‘wrapped’ in two weeks at the most – for the new Pope to celebrate Easter. It is all pre-planned – arranging accommodation, installing pot belly stove in Sistine Chappel, having vestments and mitres on hand in various sizes for the new Pope, etc. When white smoke belches from the stove the successful candidate is immediately ‘it’ (black smoke means void ballot or less than 66% majority).

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  37. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    I guess the koolaid goes in the communion wine.

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  38. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    Yvette – the Church has already cleaned up its act re: abuse in the Church – moreso than any secular organization.
    As for the other points on your list, nothing will change. Period.

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  39. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    His boss must be a pretty forgiving guy.

    I don’t think it would go down well if I gave just two weeks’ notice. :-(

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  40. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    The Guardian outlines five issues for the next Pope’s in-tray –

    Contraception and Aids
    Sexual abuse within the church
    Homosexuality and same-sex marriage
    Abortion
    Women – equality, ordination and priestly celibacy

    Well I’ll be darned, the Guardian you say – I expect a disabled, black, partnered lesbian would be the Guardian’s ideal candidate for the next Pope.

    Then and only then would we have a Pope appropriate for the 21st century

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  41. Left Right and Centre (2,979 comments) says:

    41 comments so far…. ah yeah.. really? Cool…

    I love the way Kloggers always manage to shoot off on 1 000 related tangents… you guys are so good at that!! Such talent…

    You lot can take any mildy dozy topic and add a factory of fireworks to it…. it’s truly impressive and a wonder to behold.

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  42. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    No Andrei, they only expect an Atheist.

    Anyway, a brave and reasoned decision for the Pope to take.

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  43. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    “In a general sense I think it is a good think when leaders retire, rather than carry on until death – no matter how infirm.”

    So what do you think Winston will do…?

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  44. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    I never understood the whole:

    “Man in silly hat sits in golden chair, waving large, 6 foot golden across and says we must all pray for the poor and unfortunate” shtick.

    Yeah prayer…that’ll help.

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  45. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @TheContrarian

    You seem to miss the entire point.
    To believe in God you must have faith.

    If you do not believe in God then it is all foolishness… you know something… the Bible even says that.

    The trouble is you are making comments on the effectiveness of prayer for the believer, something you know nothing about, like a blind man describing colours.

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  46. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    No Lance – I am talking about a guy sitting on a golden throne surrounded by riches saying he is going to pray for the poor and needy.

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  47. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    How much drunkeness, violence, rape and killings happen when about….oh….say….1,000,000 Catholics gather on the streets of Rome for several days waiting for a Pope to be elcted?

    Probably about 0.0000005% of what Atheist NZ Kiwis do REGULARY EACH AND EVERY WEEKEND! :cool:

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  48. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @TheContrarian
    So are you saying the Catholic church never expend resources on helping the poor?

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  49. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    cha @ 1006

    You shouldn’t talk about labour activists like that. It’s not nice.

    paulus @911
    Tella your Melbournian Eyetie mates to looka uppa da meaning of ‘catholic’.
    Eyeties have never liked foreign Popes,look what they did to the first one, a Galilean.

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  50. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    something you know nothing about, like a blind man describing colours.

    Sorry to get all metaphysical, but that comment actually reminded me of a radio debate I read about between the Jesuit philosopher and historian of philosophy Frederick Copleston and the anti-Christian mathematical logician Bertrand Russell. Part of it was about belief and what basis we have for morality, and it went like this –

    Bertrand Russell [BR]: You see, I feel that some things are good and that other things are bad. I love the things that are good, that I think are good, and I hate the things that I think are bad. I don’t say that these things are good because they participate in the Divine goodness.

    Frederick Copleston [FC]: Yes, but what’s your justification for distinguishing between good and bad or how do you view the distinction between them?

    BR: I don’t have any justification any more than I have when I distinguish between blue and yellow. What is my justification for distinguishing between blue and yellow? I can see they are different.

    FC: Well, that is an excellent justification, I agree. You distinguish blue and yellow by seeing them, so you distinguish good and bad by what faculty?

    BR: By my feelings.

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  51. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    cha (1,979) Says:

    February 12th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Don the Kiwi apologist, go fuck yourself.

    Ooooh …..cha …….so eloquent. Yes, Apologist and proud of it.
    Still, what else can one expect from the liberal progressive left. To use your phrasology, Its dumb uneducated atheisitc fucks like you who are causing the ruin of our society.

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  52. JC (956 comments) says:

    Brian,

    “It will be intiguing to see how the existence of a living “former pope” is handled.”

    With the notable exception of Bill Clinton former US Presidents have shown a remarkable ability to fade into the background and not cause controversy for the immediate successor. I should think the same would happen with this Pope because

    a) he’s not Italian and aligned to the great (warring) Italian families of yore,

    b) Whilst I accept his public reasons for resigning this is a brilliant man who thinks strategically and in the interests of the Church.. his resignation draws a line under whats gone before and allows.. even compels the Cardinals to re-evaluate the direction and vigour of the Church..Benedict has thought this through.

    JC

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  53. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Its dumb uneducated atheisitc fucks like you who are causing the ruin of our society.

    It’s a beautiful thing, religion… :D

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  54. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    According to St Malachy, the next pope will be the last one – “Peter the Roman”. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana perhaps?

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  55. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    “…..I don’t think it would go down well if I gave just two weeks’ notice….”

    It fucken would around here RRM!….just sayin… :cool:

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  56. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    :cool:

    :cool: :cool:

    :cool: :cool: :cool:

    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    PS: :cool:

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  57. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    It will be intiguing to see how the existence of a living “former pope” is handled. Whoever is elected by the consitory … will be the first pope in 600 years with a living predecessor looking over his shoulder.

    Yea…

    Late last year, people who were spending time with the pontiff emerged saying they found him weak and too tired to engage with what they were saying.

    …I don’t think they’re anticipating many problems with the current pope making speaches denouncing his successor.

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  58. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana perhaps?

    Now that is an interesting (if not exciting) proposition!

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  59. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    “….they have been covering up for paedophile priests for hundreds of years…this guy is no better or worse…”

    It seems clear that David Garrett doesn’t understand the differance between paedophillia, child abuse, and gay sex attraction – very, very,very few priests have ever been charged with ‘paedophilla’ as it is ‘having sex with prepubicent children’.

    Instead, most priests are actually charged with ‘child abuse’ – abusing underage, teenage boys – or ‘gay sex attraction’ as it is more widely known!

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  60. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    I’ve just deleted Whale oil from my favorites over his blog on this.

    I’m sick to death of his anti catholic bigotry. His commenters also seem to be a pack of drongoes.

    He mentions witch burning etc.German and English protestants burned shit loads too, but we don’t go there.Only Catholic crime gets a mention.

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  61. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    Kowtow#

    Good!

    I’ll avoid the place for a while too.

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  62. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    very, very,very few priests have ever been charged with ‘paedophilla’ as it is ‘having sex with prepubicent children’.

    Really? http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-A.html

    Seem to be several “elementary school” incidents and 6-9 year olds even on the first page.

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  63. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    The inner circle probably liked the thought of the Pope being a virtual invalid so they could run the show behind the scenes. His holiness has pre-emptied that and has made a courageous decision.

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  64. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Whale Oil will be devastated :lol:

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  65. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    This is a very interesting move. I’m inclined to take the man at his word – he feels he’s not up to the job and he wants someone younger to have a crack at it. The Catholic church has long coped with indigent and dying Popes so this shakes things up and sets a very modern precedent that probably is healthy for the church.

    As soon as I heard the news I thought that this will bring the anti Catholic anti religion types out in force gloating about aspects of his past that are less than holy. I’ve had good discussions with devout Catholic friends about child abusing Priests and the cover ups. They say that most of the rising generation of Bishops are of a mood to seriously deal to the issue. In the US much of the silence has been more over managing the enormous litigation risk. This is not to condone centuries of heinous acts of abuse but then society in general for centuries put up with all kinds of abuse (spousal, sexual and physical abuse of children) as there were fewer mechanisms to deal with it and fewer cultural sanctions against it. As western society has matured so has its ability to be truthful about all these hidden types of abuse AND to set up laws and procedures to deal with victims and perpetrators. The Catholic Church has just been a lot slower in this process and perhaps Ratzinger felt that these issues would be dealt with more expeditiously and without any possible tainting by a younger Pope. Kicking the man while he’s down does nothing to alleviate the suffering of those who were abused by priests.

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  66. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    James,

    That bishopaccountablity site is very dodgy. It even puts the names of falsely accused priests on it, where the accusers have recanted. See this story on The Media Report: No Fairness For Innocent Priests at BishopAccountability.org. In the cases of the two priests mentioned, one entry was eventually removed, while as the other is still up. Also, just because someone is accused doesn’t mean they are actually guilty. There have been quite a few cases recently where it’s been found that criminals have latched onto the idea of falsely accusing priests for payouts from the Church. And a recent, high profile case where a priest pleaded guilty in order to get a lesser sentence, even though later under oath, he said he didn’t commit the crime.

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  67. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    I reckon he was pushed to resign once the illuminati found out about THIS:

    http://www.atvtoday.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/power-pope.gif

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  68. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    David Garrett,

    It’s a sad day because it’s the end of an amazing papacy, and this resignation is acknowledgement the Holy Father doesn’t have long to live. At least he’ll get to see his successor installed.

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  69. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    “….Seem to be several “elementary school” incidents and 6-9 year olds even on the first page….”

    The first page also consists of priests, nuns, brothers ect who are ‘alleged’ to have committed ‘child abuse’.

    The first page is all the surmames that start with ‘A’ about 40. Include all the other letters and you have about 1000 persons in total, of priests, nuns, brothers etc who are ‘alleged’.

    ‘Minor’ in the US is ‘ a person under the State legal age of consent.’

    Yes, there is also some priests who ‘fondled’ kids at the ages of 6, 7, 8 etc – it’s sick- but it ain’t ‘paedophilla’ as I understand it by the legal term.

    ‘Child sexual abuse’ is a broad term – it doesn’t necessarly mean ‘paedophillia’.

    You are right, there are some priests listed who were paedopiles, but compared to the amount of Catholic Priests who are accused/convicted of the more broad ‘sexual abuse’ – very few have been laid of ‘paedopillia’.

    The Catholic Church in Australia said they were looking at the sex abuse enquiry later this year as they “want to clear up some issues that have been reported in the media that are plainly untrue.” Listed above is what they mean.

    It should also be noted that the Catholic Church has given 10’s and 100’s of thousands of dollars to abuse victims, and paid for councilling etc over the last decade – what has the average school student who has been abused, in the public system, boyscout, kid next door, kid in the park, etc, been given ? That is also going to be presented to the enquiry.

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  70. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Don the (enraged Catholic) Kiwi: Which bit of my comment was a half truth? That it was rather a bold move by Bene? That he has been a relatively undistinguished pope? That they have been covering up priestly child abuse – whether by paeadophiles or homosexuals is irrelevant to me – for years?

    Do tell us which of those statements are half truths?

    Interesting the number of “thumbs down” on this thread…you clearly have a lot of pious Catholic readers DPF…

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  71. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    DG

    You’re playing the same game that the bigots do. Holding Catholics to a higher standard.The comment about “pious Catholics” is a lowblow,a cheap shot.

    All big organisations,especially ones that have a duty of care have these problems.The Catholics are singled out for particular attention,by ex Catholics with either an axe to grind or chip on their shoulder , by anti Catholic bigots as well as atheists and marxists who hate the conservative traditions of Holy Mother Church.

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  72. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Kowtow: I disagree, but if I AM holding the Catholics to a different and higher standard, that is solely because they claim to be the “one true holy catholic and apostolic church” and that no-one but they can enter the Kingdom of heaven. Or has that dogma officially changed – by way of papal bull or encyclical – since the Marist brothers were indoctrinating me 40 years ago?

    Note I say OFFICIALLY CHANGED…I am not interested in what fairy tale your local priest might tell you and your wife to keep you, she, and the other sheeple trooping along to mass…as you well know, because of the doctrine of papal infallibility, it’s only for the chap in Rome to change the rules, not the Bishop of Masterton or Father O’Halloran…

    And yes, I do believe there are a greater number of Catholic priests per head of clergy as a whole guilty of child molestation as compared with clergy from other demominations. Do you have any evidence to rebut that assertion?

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  73. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    In what era Garrett…..2000 – 2010 say?…….thought not……so….what’s your take on the last Crusade Dave? :cool:

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  74. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    If you could make your question make sense…Harry …I will try and respond to it…Aside from the last sentence (I have primary school knowledge only of the crusades) all you have written is a meaningless jumble of words and two dates…

    amusing how there are already two “thumbs down” to my comment…but nothing rebutting it…

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  75. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    That he has been a relatively undistinguished pope?

    Undistinguihed means he didn’t implement the liberal agenda? That there are no women in vestments playing church? That homosexuals can’t receive the sacrament of holy matrimony?

    Yes if he had done all that you’ld think it had been a “distinguished and historical” papacy I’m sure.

    Well it would have been historical of that there is no doubt, The Faithful would have abandoned their church in droves leaving the churches empty just like the anglican ones are since to appease the guardian readership that church slipped into apostasy

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  76. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    You know justice Dave…..tell us about teachers and their poor behavior in the last 40 yrs towards kids….teachers value what they do for kids as much as priests do!

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  77. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    David Garrett#

    From what I’ve read here from time to time about you[most of it vile & low blows], and you having to -more or less- say sorry again, and again, and again, defending yourself again, and again,…… you like the Catholic Church, must be asking “When does it stop?”

    There is a time when it should stop Dave. BTW….I’ve never started on you and have no intentions to.Cheers.

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  78. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Harriet: My answer to that – and I suspect the answer of most here who are not of your faith – would be “it stops when the heirarchy of the Catholic church has only one reaction to any allegation of child abuse, and that is to call the police immediately”

    And a related point: an interesting papal bull from 1896 declares all Anglican holy orders [priests and nuns] null and void….it doesn’t appear to ever have been reversed.

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  79. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Harriet – I’m hoping you’ve been drinking. Otherwise I might have to suspect you’ve been possessed by PhilU, as your writing has become somewhat less comprehensible.

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  80. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    Dave G

    A few denominations hold themselves to be the holy,catholic and apostolic church. Funny that.

    All goes back to Nicene and later councils.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed

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  81. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    kowtow: Ah yes…but which other demoninations (aside from the lunatic fringe cults) hold that only THEIR members can get to heaven? When I last pinned down a priest on the subject, he grudgingly admitted that that was still part of official Catholic dogma…(and there I am showing my degree of past indoctrination by capitalizing “catholic” !!)

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  82. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Slightly off topic
    But I just was on the Herald site and saw nothing about this.
    I first saw it here and then rechecked and saw a tiny link.
    Is this not major news?

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  83. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    Okay DG.
    I’ll bite. (hardly enraged BTW, but I do get pretty pissed off when false accusations and part truths are pedalled out to those who salivate at the thought of the Catholic Church being at fault. But not enraged – on the rare occasion that has happened, its not pretty ;-) )

    Comment 8.38 am. …pretty undistinguished Bishop of Rome. . Oh, I see Andrei has responded appropriately to that.
    they have been covering up for paedophile priests for hundreds of years…this guy is no better or worse…

    Not true. There have been instances throughout history of clergy abusing children – but it was homsexuality, not paedophilia, and quite rare. The current clerical abuse scandal is the worst in history, and I agree that the Church should be held to higher account, but the way the liberal media have blown this up, aided and abbetted by an anti-Christian public, has in many cases, grossly overstated the issue. Google “The Jay Report”. You will find that the Cathoilc Church is at the lower end of offending organisations, including other denominations, schoolteachers, the medical profession etc. But if you think paedophilia and homosexuality are the same thing, I’m not surprised you left parliament.

    When you were in politics, there were a couple of politicians convicted of child abuse – does that mean that you and all the others were kiddie fiddlers, or that the NZ Parliament was rotten to the core and should be disbanded? Of course not – in the same way that a numberof homosexual priests does not mean the Church is rotten, or that cover-ups have been goin on for centuries. I would like to respond to some other comments, but I’m halfway throughputting a new roof on my house, and rain is due tomorrow.

    But there is one further blinding error in one of your assertions – and I was taught by the Marist brothers back in the late 50’s, so I know what I am saying is correct, as opposed to yourself, who left the Church in your teens without any in depth understanding of the Church’s teachings, and yet pontificate here as if you are some sort of authority.

    The Church does NOT claim that only Catholics enter heaven, and it never has. Baptism by other communities has always been recognised as valid – that is the criteria for a right of entry to Heaven. Those who are unbaptised are then dependent solely of the mercy of God – how they have lived their lives. But those who deny Christ and the Church (the wider church – the baptised) sadly, have very little show.
    If I get time I’ll comment further, but don’t hold your breath.

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  84. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    For David Garrett to demonstrate the wrongness of his assumptions

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  85. cha (4,014 comments) says:

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  86. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    DG –

    Maybe you should be the next Pope because you are clearly such an expert on Catholicism. More than me, obviously, as I had thought Lumen Gentium had some sort of standing in defining Catholic teaching. As that Council document had made clear that the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam sulla salus made it clear that the Church agrees that those who are inculpably ignorant of Catholic teaches are not punished. There is such a thing as baptism by desire.

    If you want serious data about the sexual abuse scandal – try this: http://www.catholicleague.org/sexual-abuse-in-social-context-clergy-and-other-professionals/

    If you think that source is tainted, why don’t you read the John Jay Report in its entirety and take the time to digest its contents before exercising that famous good judgment of yours.

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  87. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Ah, such sarcasm from the good Christians!

    Don the (only slightly angry) Kiwi: The beginning of the end for me and catholicism was being told at age twelve that we should pray that our non catholic friends and relations – which included my father – would be converted to catholicism before they died, because if they did not, the best they could hope for was purgatory (a place invented by the Holy Mother Church, and unknown to other demoninations, as of course you know).

    Being at that time somewhat attached to my father, I questioned this. I even extended the questioning to hypothetical heathens in Africa who, despite living a good life by the tenets of their society, had never heard of Christianity, much less catholicism. I was solemnly assured that sadly, no, if those heathens did not become catholics in time, they could not possibly enter the Kingdom of Heaven….and we should ensure that we gave generously to the missions to avert the unhappy eternal fate that otherwise awaited said heathens. When I said that this was clearly nonsensical, I received six strokes of the cane from the later Br. Marius.

    You seem to have been taught something quite different. If you can point me to a papal bull or similar declaration which proves your teachers’ version right and mine wrong, I would read it with avid interest. In the meantime, I maintain that the catholics do indeed think they are better than the rest of us, and thus need to maintain a higher standard of religious observance and behaviour.

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  88. Griff (7,694 comments) says:

    Worms .
    The fate that befalls you is not controlled by any ecclesiastical doctrine.
    Good on him for stepping aside when he considered he was unable to do the job justice.
    I hope we see such a succession with queeny and big ears.

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  89. cha (4,014 comments) says:

    Next up, Peter the Roman aka Georg Gänswein.

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  90. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Good grief. I forgive the Learned David Garrett – he is clearly beset by invincible ignorance on matters Catholic.

    “[I]f they did not, the best they could hope for was purgatory” – the Church doesn’t, and never has, taught that. Instead, purgatory is where Catholics go if they are not in a state of grace where they die. Moreover, purgatory is not a permanent consignment. It is a temporary purification – no one in Purgatory remains there forever or ever goes to Hell.

    “[T]hose heathens did not become catholics in time, they could not possibly enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. This is Feeneyism – a heresy. The Church actually teaches that “outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control” (Singulari Quidem).

    Also – you keep referring to Papal Bulls – but Papal Bulls aren’t really used for doctrines. If you knew what you were talking about, you would refer to Creeds, Ecumenical Council documents, or solemn pronouncements pronounced as dogma by the Pope acting ex cathedra.

    “The beginning of the end for me and catholicism was being told at age twelve…” This. This is apparently the root of the problem – you think that yourself as a 12 year old was expert enough to make a definitive judgment on anything.

    You are entitled to your own religious beliefs but, to avoid looking like a stumblebum, could you please stop holding yourself out as being knowledgeable about things Catholic?

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  91. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    DG
    Ah, such sarcasm from the good Christians

    WTF ????
    If that comment is directed at me, I had no intention of being sarcastic – simply making a statement. And besides, how does one being a Christian prevent them from normal human emotions and feelings?

    Anyway, if you read Cato’s post, he goes into a little more detail, but says exactly the same as what I said, and in particular, Lumen Gentium – one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which is the Dogmatic Teaching of the Church – so no papal bull or other documents required. That explains quite clearly the Church’s teaching.

    I find it very sad that you were taught incorrectly about your father, and would direct my anger at those who gave you that false teaching – one of the problems in the Church that Benedict XVI and other popes are constantly battling and have been since the beginning of the Church, where some give their own view rather than the objective teaching of the Church. e.g. the Arian heresy of the fourth century, etc. etc.

    ….the best they could hope for was purgatory (a place invented by the Holy Mother Church, and unknown to other demoninations, as of course you know).

    Not so. The Anglican communion( in its proper teaching) believes in Purgatory. For hundreds of years before Christ, the Jews believed in purgatory, though it was not known by that name, and there are quotations in the scriptures that clearly indicate such a teaching, but again, not by that name. The church was quite happy with the teaching about purgatory until John Calvin came along, and further expounded by most of the evangelical communions – but Purgatory is and will remain the true teaching of the Church. And BTW, once you get to purgatory, you’ve made it – it is simply a cleansing – purgation – before you get to heaven.

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  92. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    DG –

    This is what the Catechism of the Church teaches about those who do not know God through no fault of their own – maybe they live in the jungle or have never heard of Christ etc..

    “Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm#III

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  93. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    ps, C.S Lewis also believed in Purgatory –

    “Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him?

    I believe in Purgatory.

    Mind you, the Reformers had good reasons for throwing doubt on the ‘Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory’ as that Romish doctrine had then become…..

    The right view returns magnificently in Newman’s DREAM. There, if I remember it rightly, the saved soul, at the very foot of the throne, begs to be taken away and cleansed. It cannot bear for a moment longer ‘With its darkness to affront that light’. Religion has claimed Purgatory. 

    Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, ‘It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy’? Should we not reply, ‘With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I’d rather be cleaned first.’ ‘It may hurt, you know’ – ‘Even so, sir.’

    I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering. Partly from tradition; partly because most real good that has been done me in this life has involved it. But I don’t think the suffering is the purpose of the purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. . . . The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much.

    My favourite image on this matter comes from the dentist’s chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and I am ‘coming round’,’ a voice will say, ‘Rinse your mouth out with this.’ This will be Purgatory. The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine. The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure. But . . . it will [not] be disgusting and unhallowed.”

      – C.S. Lewis, Letters To Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, chapter 20, paragraphs 7-10, pages 108-109

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  94. chiz (1,144 comments) says:

    Cato:If you want serious data about the sexual abuse scandal – try this: http://www.catholicleague.org/sexual-abuse-in-social-context-clergy-and-other-professionals/

    Ah, and its quotes from the Shakeshaft report, even though, as big bruv pointed out here last year, the author used a very wide definition:

    “Wendy McElroy, a researcher for the Independent Institute in California says the report authored by Hofstra University Professor Carol Shakeshaft, defines sexual abuse in “an extremely broad manner” that includes “physical, verbal, or visual” behavior by an educator ranging from sexual intercourse to inappropriate jokes. ”

    Some of the other statistics quoted appear dodgy. 13.5% of students have had sex with their teacher? Really?

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  95. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Good call. To be CEO of the world’s oldest, most successful and profitable multi-national, multi-level marketing enterprise requires youthful energy. I hope he gets a redundancy cheque approptiate to his status.

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  96. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Great news!. The protector of Nazi’s and Paedophiles has tossed in the towel. Perhaps he has finally realised that there is no such thing as God and Jesus. One does wonder why he is jacking it in, is there something about his past that may soon come out that would further damage the evil Catholic church?, perhaps Ratzinger was not so pure during his time as a Parish Priest.

    I will be glad to see the back of this evil little man. He has directly sentenced thousands of people to a life of misery and poverty, to say nothing of those poor sods that will die of AIDS because a stupid old man in Rome thinks that condoms are more evil than AIDS.

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  97. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    So for the first time in 600 years a pope has handed in his notice.

    Just goes to prove there’s no such thing as ‘jobs for life’ any more.

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  98. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    Someone has probably found out that he has fathered some kid(s) along the way.

    Sad looking old man on the telly tonite.
    Good decision.
    Pity it was a lady who actually gave him the idea.

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  99. Reid (16,447 comments) says:

    Next up, Peter the Roman aka Georg Gänswein.

    Could be cha, personally I go with Arinze.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/02/nigerias-cardinal-francis-arinze-the-next-pope/

    He said he’s resigning Feb 28 at 8 PM, Rome time. Why was he so specific, to name the time as well as the date? The date of resignation announcement, Rome Time: 11/2/13 also has significance to those familiar with the esoteric.

    A couple of people above, including cha, have mentioned Malachy.

    That’s good, at least a couple of people know.

    It’s a pity the Vatican Library isn’t open to the public isn’t it. I bet the answers in there, somewhere.

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  100. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    Reid,

    The date of the resignation corresponds with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick. From that perspective, not a coincidence. As to the specific resignation time, means Pope Benedict will be officially available until 8pm on Feb 28th, and he’s not giving world cardinals that much time to do politicing to pick his successor. I wouldn’t read more into it than that, though it might also be a feast day on the old calendar.

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  101. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    He has directly sentenced thousands of people to a life of misery and poverty, to say nothing of those poor sods that will die of AIDS because a stupid old man in Rome thinks that condoms are more evil than AIDS.

    Actually, it turns out that MORE condoms and contraception = MORE AIDS. I know it might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

    ‘We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

    So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.

    Benedict XVI said, in response to a French reporter’s question asking him to defend the Church’s position on fighting the spread of AIDS, characterized by the reporter as “frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective”:

    I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness — even through personal sacrifice — to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.

    “The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’”

    “There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

    Green added: “I also noticed that the pope said ‘monogamy’ was the best single answer to African AIDS, rather than ‘abstinence.’ The best and latest empirical evidence indeed shows that reduction in multiple and concurrent sexual partners is the most important single behavior change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates (the other major factor is male circumcision).”

    And while, as Travis Kavulla writes from Kenya today, the international media will ignore all sorts of fascinating new stories about church and civilizational growth in favor of a sexier, albeit way-too-familiar storyline, Green has some encouraging news: The pope is not alone. “More and more AIDS experts are coming to accept the above. The two countries with the worst HIV epidemics, Swaziland and Botswana, have both launched campaigns to discourage multiple and concurrent partners, and to encourage fidelity.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/227110/saint-peters-square-harvard-square/kathryn-jean-lopez

    So, this “evil little man” is actually saving people by sticking to the centuries-old values and morals of the Church.

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  102. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    The director of an African AIDS care center is supporting Benedict XVI’s words about the ineffectiveness of condoms in the struggle against the spread of the disease.

    Rose Busingye, who directs Meeting Point Kampala, a center in Kampala for those suffering from AIDS, and cares for about 4,000 people a day, responded to the Pope’s words and the public criticism he received.

    In an interview published online March 20 by Il Sussidario, Busingye said that “those who contribute to the polemics over the Pope’s statements must in reality understand that the true problem in the spread of AIDS in Africa is not condoms; talking about this would be to stop at the consequences and never go to the origin of the problem.”

    “At the root of the spread of HIV,” she explained, “there is a behavior, there is a way of being.” She added, “And then let’s not forget that the great emergency is to take care of the people who have already contracted the disease and for whom condoms are useless.”

    “The Pope,” Busingye emphasized, “is doing nothing else but defending and supporting precisely that which will be useful for helping these people: affirming the meaning of life and the dignity of the human being.”

    She continued: “Those who attack him have interests to defend, but the Pope has no such interests: he is concerned about us, and he is concerned about Africa.

    “He is not the one, who is bringing mines to blow up our children, our children who become soldiers, who become amputees, without ears, without mouths, unable to swallow saliva: and what should we give them, condoms?

    “When a few years ago there was genocide in Rwanda, everyone stood by and watched. Nearby there is a tiny town, which could have been protected, and no one did anything.

    “My relatives were there, and they all died in an inhumane way. No one cared, and now they are coming here with condoms.”

    Pointing out that malaria kills more people than AIDS, Busingye asked: “Why don’t they bring us aspirin and anti-malaria medicine?”

    She stated that there is a method that works and that caused a reduction in the spread of AIDS in Uganda from 18% of the population to 3% and “it is to do it in a way that makes the people feel cared for.” She concluded, “We see it here at Meeting Point: when the people come here, they don’t want to leave.”

    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/aids-worker-says-africans-don-t-need-condoms

    ps, that ‘method’ she mentions at the end there is abstinence.

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  103. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    Ah, yes. February 28 is historically the feast day of St. Hilary, pope from 461 to 468 and guardian of Church unity.

    Source

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  104. Griff (7,694 comments) says:

    However, a field-study conducted in Rakai, a region in southern Uganda, showed that abstinence and fidelity rates had been declining during 1995–2002, but without the expected rise in HIV/AIDS rates, suggesting a greater role for condoms than acknowledged by Museveni. The other central finding of the Rakai study was that, due to Uganda’s focus on prevention of the spread of HIV-AIDS, rather than treatment for those who had already contracted the disease, a large part of the decline in prevalence of HIV-AIDS is due to the premature death of those who have contracted it. This led to the popular play on the ABC campaign, ‘A-B-C-D’, with the D standing for Death. Because only prevalence is measured, incidence can actually increase while prevalence decreases if those who contract HIV are not treated for the disease, thereby dying younger. Later studies have seriously questioned the veracity of Uganda’s miraculous HIV-AIDS claims

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  105. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Fletch seems to insist on repeating the lies of the catholic church. Any organisation that tells such blatant lies is indeed evil. The bastards would rather people die of AIDS than let their stupid followers practice safe sex.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/oct/09/aids

    http://www.libchrist.com/std/vaticanlies.html

    These articles prove that Raztinger is indeed an evil little man.

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  106. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    Lucia practices safe sex BB. She’s never given me her phone number. :)

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  107. Hodor (38 comments) says:

    Good to see someone from that outfit make good decision, makes a nice change from:

    Oppression of other religions
    Destruction of native cultures, languages and customs
    Burnings and torture
    Persecution of homosexuals
    Refusal to allow women roles in the church
    Failure to condemn nazi persecution of Jews
    Protection of nazis at end of WWII
    Continuation of expectation that dirt poor Catholics to keep donating money they can’t really afford to one of the richest outfits in the world ( also the largest property owning entity in the world)
    Failure to promote safe sex and birth control
    Forcing families to have dozens of kids they can’t afford
    Child abuse
    Covering up child abuse
    And of course, silly hats

    Apart from that, they’ve been awesome

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  108. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    Hahahahaha.

    Big blouse quotes articles from 10 years ago. ( which have since been proved wrong)

    Best you can do? you useless tosser.

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  109. kowtow (8,464 comments) says:

    Hodor

    You shouldn’t talk about Muslims like that.It could be construed as racism.

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  110. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    D4J…..welcome back.

    There happens to be a truck load of articles proving that the Catholics are telling bare faced lies. That is just two of them.

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  111. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    so evidently the pope- mobile is a enviro friendly car…. no hydro carbons at all… powerd totally by the tears of abused alter boys :-)

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  112. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Surely the correct term is abdicate, not resign ?

    He’s a monarch after all.

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  113. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    I hope the next pope pulls the sword out and turns on his own and starts weeding the garden and give some dignity back to the Church.

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  114. Kea (12,824 comments) says:

    Hodor (4) Says:
    February 12th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    A good start but you missed a fair bit out. For example the Catholic Holocaust in Croatia.

    http://jesuswouldbefurious.org/Catholic/CroatianHolocaust.html

    http://www.fantompowa.net/Flame/yugoslavia_catholic_church.htm

    Those of you who are bored by history, may want to research what they did in more recent times.

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