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I think that resignation is something that may be more frequent in the future.
People simply live much longer these days than in years past. I have read that of the 266 Catholic popes (from St Peter to Pope Benedict), Pope Benedict (at 85 years old) is the 4th oldest throughout history. In centuries past, there was not nearly the medical sophistication or technology to care for someone when they became old or ill.... so they died at an earlier age.
Also, the physical demands of the position are much greater in these modern times, where the pope is (practically) expected to travel frequently and be in frequent communication with all of the media. This just didn't happen even 50 or 100 years ago. In earlier times, the pope often spent much of his time in Rome, using written communication and local audiences to communicate with the world. I am quite certain that Pope John Paul II traveled more miles during his papacy than all 264 popes before him combined.... Perhaps even at least 10X more.
Popes are merely human, after all. Mind, body and spirit are needed in sufficient capacity to carry out their responsibilities.
I did not read all the posts so forgive me if I repeat what has already been said.
This is a good thing for the Church, and possibly a new tradition-though not necessary for all popes.
On the lighter side it was a little amusing watching all the media scramble, it is not often they get surprise announcements.
Back the the serious. I have no fear of electing a pope who will undo the path JPII and B16 have set us down, after all every person in the College of Cardinals was appointed by those two men. It is also not helpful to refer to either JPII or B16 as conservatives, since they are simply Catholic-I feel it is a term a liberal media gives to them.
Yes we have had popes who have retired, but not under these circumstances and not in 600 years, so in many ways our Church is encountering somethign new, something unknown, answering "we don't know" to many questions. Ok maybe not the Church but at least the answers we are getting from experts even in the Catholic media. This is very historic and exciting it is not often we hear such things about our Church.
Personally I am very excited about the next pope. Maybe from the southern hemisphere? from the Eastern Church? Highly doubtful but maybe Dolan or Wuerl (DC), certainly their names come to mind of those who decide. Maybe go back it Italy? Only God knows what man will be our Papa, and I rest assured the Holy Spirit will guide the red hats in choosing exactly the man we need. Regardless of age, nationality or anything else I am positive whomever he is, he is exaclty the right man for the job.
Before trashing all non-Catholics it's worthwhile remembering that Christ was a practicing Jew who said that peace is found within.
What is wrong with ecumenical services? There are many formerly practicing Catholics who have left the church because of the conservative movement as started w/ our current pope. Many others have been deeply wounded by his refusal to hold accountable the priests who hurt the children in their care. Perhaps rather than sitting in judgement we could pray for peace and trust that God, the Holy Spirit, Christ and the Blessed Mother are in charge, not ourselves.
That's a pretty tall claim you make that Our Lord said that "peace is found within." If that is what he said, why is that notion not found in His sayings contained in the New Testament?
The problem with these "ecumenical" services is that they are deceptive. The very word ecumenical comes originally from the Greek word oikos meaning "house" or "habitation." To say that those who are separated from the Mystical Body of Christ still in some way all inhabit the same universal dwelling holding the same notion of good and evil, the same notion of true and false, is false. The protestants, Old Catholics, and Orientals (who claim to be oriental orthodox without submission to the Roman Pontiff) do not ascribe to divinely revealed truth in a faithful or salvific way, and they utterly reject matters bound upon catholic faith.
Merely because a Pope never taught heresy from the chair (i.e., ex cathedra) does not preclude the possibility that he is an heretic. Also, merely because a Pope cannot teach an heresy ex cathedra does not mean that he cannot attempt to bind a heresy on the whole Church in his ordinary magisterium...since it is possible for a Pope to convey error in his ordinary magisterium.
Why are we so studied in ways to attack the Holy Father and disregard his teachings? Since when are you and I holier or acting with greater authority?
Why stop with the pope and bishops? Since we're all at it, maybe the Holy Spirit needs our guidance as well.
The protestants, Old Catholics, and Orientals (who claim to be oriental orthodox without submission to the Roman Pontiff) do not ascribe to divinely revealed truth in a faithful or salvific way, and they utterly reject matters bound upon catholic faith.
You left out the SSPX.
Most or all of the voters were selected by JPII or Benedict XVI, so I doubt the next Pope will be much more or less Modernist.
I would expect Dolan, Burke and DiNardo to get some votes early on. Eventually, Ouellet from Canada will probably be the only white North American contender.
Please Please Please Please can we please have Cardinal Dolan be selected?
My early analysis:
In 2005, I probably would not have voted Ratzinger on the first ballot. I would have supported him over Arinze and Arinze over most other
Europeans. I am not sure where I would have ranked the Latin Americans.
A Pope from the third world would definitely make a lot of sense this time. Turkson sounds very good and I expect him to unite the African vote
early on. Maradiaga might be the strongest Latin American contender? The website
www.oddschecker.com has some interesting odds. Ouellet and Turkson are the favorites with
Scola and Arinze close behind. Ouellet would probably energize Catholics and pro-lifers in North America. Few if any voters were chosen by Italian
Popes, and I see no reason why John Paul II or Benedict XVI would avoid potential Ouellet supporters when choosing Cardinals. Scola would probably need near-unanimous European support in order to become Pope.