back to article Pope resigns months after launching social networking effort

Pope Benedict announced his resignation today, becoming the first pope to relinquish the leadership of the Catholic Church in six centuries - and just months after becoming the first pontiff to join Twitter. The 85-year-old will step down at the end of the month, clearing the way for a conclave to elect his successor. He is the …

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Re: Smashing Pope

What's detestation of a Nazi, paedophile-protector got to do with left/right politics? As far as I know there are catholics on all shades of the political spectrum. It's more to do with human decency and justice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Smashing Pope

"much to the chagrin of the smug leftie acktors "

When reading the new Testament it is striking that the teachings of Christ were, in modern terms, very left wing. What he preached against were: the Pharisees in positions of religious power; people who accumulated vast wealth; those who were intolerant of peopl's sexual activities.

The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy epitomises all that Christ preached against.

The RCC, and the CofE to a lesser extent, in their interference in UK politics have also forgotten the commandment to: "render up to Caesar that which is Caesar's - and to God that which is God's".

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Happy

Re: Smashing Pope

Smashing Pope? Is this an EU edict to break up the old ones and recycle them?

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Re: Smashing Pope

revolting nazi/paedophile sympathiser

there fixed it for you!

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Re: Smashing Pope

only 1 person in the catholic church truly on the left.

and they nailed that poor bugger to a cross.

all the lefties get exiled to the anglican church

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FAIL

Re: Smashing Pope

Actually that always struck me as odd. I do agree that the teachings of Christ were love and acceptance of all regardless of sexual orientation, race, colour and creed. And yet the Catholic Church is branded as being intolerant.

As a catholic, i've never seen or experienced this at church. i do read about it in the media though. but us catholcs are too dumb to believe everything we read. i mean it even appears on the internet so it must be true shouldn't it?

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Re: Smashing Pope

I assume you are male, heterosexual and live in a rich country then?

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Re: Smashing Pope

that assumption would hold true for most readers of the reg. you're point being?

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Re: Smashing Pope

Your opinion of the loving mercy of the mother church might be slightly different if you are gay or a woman

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Smashing Pope

1 I think you will find it was Paul of Tarsus who really "founded" Christianity, and IIRC it was the ultra-right wing Henry VIII who started the Anglican Church ably followed by his daughter Elizabeth.

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Re: Smashing Pope

Indeed, as an alleged rape victim in Germany (!) discovered when the Catholic-run (and state-funded) clinic refused to give her the morning-after pill.

Joachim Meisner, Cardinal of Cologne, did say he was sorry afterwards though.

So that's OK then.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/vergewaltigungsopfer-abgewiesen-kardinal-meisner-entschuldigt-sich-nach-koelner-klinikaffaere-12034419.html (in German)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9811443/German-rape-victim-turned-away-by-Catholic-hospitals-over-pregnancy-fears.html (in English)

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Anonymous Coward

Has he resigned so he can settle down and have a couple of kids/

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Anonymous Coward

The pope has resigned...

...To spend more time with his family...

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Devil

As a Hitler Youth volunteer...

...he's probably off to spend more time with his swastikas.

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Re: As a Hitler Youth volunteer...

Right, let's put this to rest once and for all most Germans of his age were in the Hitler youth. You can't hold him responsible for that.

But most Germans of his age haven't knowingly aided and abetted paedophiles in their evasion of justice. You can hold him responsible for that.

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Well theres your problem......

Alarmed at his 'it was the voices in my head that told me to retire' statement. Voices? Plural?

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@pontifex

surely this belongs to his employer (God?), rather than the individual, so he'll have to include the password in the handover documents he gives his successor, or risk being given a bad reference.

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Re: @pontifex

" or risk being given a bad reference."

It would be interesting to hear the conversation when he finally meets his venerable predecessor St Peter at the Pearly Gates - the Highest Court. Scoring all the boxes - and then it gets to "little children" and Peter repeats the Lord's criteria:

"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

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Maybe in 50 years time...

... we'll find out the real reason behind this abdication.

My conspiracy theory? It probably involves children, or Nazis, or both.

TTFN "God's Rottweiler"....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe in 50 years time...

Possibly Dan Brown now has a theme for his next novel.

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Kudos to him, really

I'm not religious, and I certainly never was a big fan of this Pope (I never cared really, since I'm convinced universe was created by a couple of dices thrown). But geez, get the negationists back in church, for Pete's sake !

However, I think the guy needs our hats off for having the courage to resign, as this is not really the fashion of the company. I can imagine all the court faces around him when he announced that ...

I'm sure I would do the same if being forced to do my current job, when I'm 85 ...

So long mate, have a deserved rest !

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He was just upset about his team missing a star player.

Knowing the church never recruited Mr Saville must be a constant source of embarassment. My guess is he now wants to work for the BBC.

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Trollface

Theme on an old joke

He's off to go and party. He read the original scriptures in the library and discovered somebody made a typo many, many, many (many...) years ago. The original script says "celebrate".

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Happy

Pope resigns shortly after joining Twitter.

Just like Jason Manford.

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As a practising Catholic I thought I might confirm that this is pretty sudden- they didn't know about it at Mass yesterday evening.

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Pint

another practising Catholic on the reg forums? i thought i was the only one.

I guess i understand what it must feel like for someone who's gay to come out of the closet a few years back.

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Happy

That's three of us then

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Anonymous Coward

Some of my best friends are Catholics. I know what topics cause them grief and avoid raising them. Like all such organisations one reserves appropriate criticism for the leaders - not the infantry. I still remember the anguish of friends in the 1970s who had expected their use of artificial contraception to be approved as part of the modernisation.

The recent vitriolic campaign against same-sex Civil Marriage did the Church no favours in English public opinion. Especially when Jacob Rees-Mogg MP in a radio interview starts by saying that in matters like this "I take my whip from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church". Private conscience is one thing - blind obedience to a foreign state is something else.

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Anonymous Coward

"Practising" Catholic?

I've always thought that particular phrase makes it sound like the whole 'love thy neighbour' thing is a bit too difficult and just doesn't come naturally, so you really have to work at it...

I gave up on the whole thing after noticing that some Catholics still weren't particularly nice people after 30, 40 or even 50+ years of "Practising"!

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He's just keeping us off-ballance

after all...

<all together now> No one expects the spanish inquisition!

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Is it wrong

That my first thoughts when I heard this were "what scandalous story from his past has just been discovered by the press that could be broken any day?"

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Anonymous Coward

http://www.crystalinks.com/papalprophecies.html

"Saint Malachy (1094 - November 2, 1148) was known as great prophet. While in Rome in 1139 he received a vision showing him all the Popes from his day to the end of time. According to these prophecies, only two Popes remaining after John Paul II."

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Two Popes after John Paul II?

Here we are then: all those poor deluded people who thought that the Mayan prophecies predicted the end if the world in 2012 _must_ have been wrong, since St Malachy had prophesied that there would still be another Pope's reign to go.

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Retirement!

He's *retiring* not resigning. Everything said about his actions describes "retire" not "resign", and until the child-fiddling photos come to light or the missing money is discovered, it's "retire".

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Re: Retirement!

not if you read the BBC coverage.

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Re: Retirement!

Ahhh now!

that money was just resting in his account

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Re: Retirement!

He can't actually resign, he does not have anyone to resign to. He is abdicating, which he can do.

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Angel

Pope Benedict is retiring a few months after getting involved in social media??

No doubt to concentrate on playing Mafia Wars and watching cat videos on YouTube!!

(I can has free time!!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pope Benedict is retiring a few months after getting involved in social media??

So nothing in the Stasi files then?

Or is it horsemeat in the confessional wafers..... not so much 'the body of christ', more 'christ what's in the biscuits'?

AC to keep the zealots at bay ......

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Childcatcher

Re: Thank God!

@The Indomitable Gall: Now totally definitely agnostic.

So you are now completely sure that you are unsure as to the nature of life, the universe, and everything?

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Re: Thank God!

Yes, but more than that, I am now completely sure that I can never be anything other than completely unsure as to the nature of life, the universe and everything? (I'm also completely sure that I don't use the "Oxford comma" -- I'm not from Oxford!)

I was mostly agnostic when I was Catholic, because I accepted on a fundamental level that even the most unshakeable faith is not "certainty", merely "faith".

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You all seem to have missed the obvious downside to all this. It means there is going to be a new series of "Pope idol" on TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Well the voting panel has already been rigged so that no matter who wins - they will be singing off the same hymn sheet as the retiring Pope.

Predictions:

1) the Roman Catholic Church will split along liberal and conservative lines. The former will be in the developed western countries - the latter in Asia, Africa, and South America. Once again the prospect of two, or more, Popes leading the separate groups.

2) the Anglican Communion will split along liberal and conservative lines. The former will be in the developed western countries - the latter mostly in Asia, Africa, and South America.

3) the liberal groups will form an alliance to try to benefit the poor and downtrodden. The conservative groups will enter a state of war, figurative or literal - sacrificing their followers in trying to prove which is the most fundamental in their biblical adherence.

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Anonymous Coward

the Roman Catholic Church will split along liberal and conservative lines

Why would the conservatives be in South America, where Liberation Theology got started?

I'd hope they'd be sending missionaries to the North and East to preach against capitalism.

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Re: the Roman Catholic Church will split along liberal and conservative lines

"Why would the conservatives be in South America, where Liberation Theology got started?"

It started there - but I seem to remember the Vatican stamping heavily on those priests who sided with the peasants. The same can be seen in the USA today with the Vatican's disbanding of nuns' "feminist" groups.

There was also the case of a mother and doctor who were excommunicated by Brazilian bishops. Their religious sin was a legal abortion on a 9 year old girl who had been raped - and was pregnant with twins. Her attacker was not excommunicated.

http://www.examiner.com/article/doctor-who-performed-abortion-on-9-year-old-rape-victim-excommunicated

In recent years the Vatican has lost its hold on the congregations in USA, Ireland, Spain, Germany, and Italy - to name a few. It damaged itself badly in the UK recently by trying to order its congregations, including school children, to sign petitions against several civil law changes.

Pope Benedict has reversed several liberalising trends. His new cardinal appointments, over half of those eligible to vote, all appear aimed at producing a conservative successor.

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Coat

Meat

With all the dodgy meat going around Europe, I see the KFC in the Vatican is cleaning up its act and is taking the Rat Zinger off the menu.

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Anonymous Coward

Popes and Presidents

So does he get to keep his title of Pope like US Presidents do, or do we have to now call him eggs-Benedict?

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Follow the money.

The Italian bloc at the Vatican Casino have had enough of him. He's failed to whitewash their dodgy property dealings, relentless banking irregularities, child molesting, right wing and mob connections, and general medieval hysteria.

He had them by the balls as Torquemada-in-Chief, but as a titular head of state, he's a toothless figurehead who can't say anything about the crooks around him without toppling the house of cards that keeps his saggy arse in the clouds.

They deliberately promoted him to a position beyond his competence to get him off their backs. In the same way our glorious despotic rulers throw a Chief Whip into the role of Party Chairman when he's getting too big for his boots. Plus ca change.

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