Chris Rennie blogged in June 2010:
If Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t get a good priest-offender communication strategy underway pretty soon, he’ll be resigning. Preposterous, you might say – it’s unthinkable a Pope could resign.
When popes Pontian (230-235), Marcellinus (296 – 304), John XVIII (1003 – 1009) Benedict IX (no exact dates due to confusion), Celestine V (1294) and Gregory XII (1406 – 1417) put on their funny hats for the first time probably the last thing on their mind would have been the prospect of resigning.
But resign they all did and rather messily. So Pope Boniface VIII who succeeded Celestine thought he’d better tidy up the resignation process and put it into Church Law.
What we don’t know is whether the resignation will now be seen as a precedent for future Popes.
Talking of Popes, I have to say that so far the new Pope seems to be making a pretty good impression. His strengths (for me) are:
- Excellent inter-faith relations in Argentina
- His name – I like St Francis of Assisi
- Appears relatively down to earth
- A focus on helping poor people, and that the Church should be poorer
- Not from the Curia, so may help clean up the corruption