Try to imagine what it would be like for Georgia fans if Mark Richt were to suddenly announce his resignation the week before fall practice is supposed to start. That is exactly where 1.2 billion Catholics are right now.
In a surprise move, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation earlier today, saying that he no longer had the strength to carry on as leader of the Catholic Church. He becomes the first pope to resign since the Middle Ages. There is debate over whether or not a pope can even resign (he can), and concern over the possibility of schism with a pope serving while his predecessor is still alive (not likely, I think). Of course there will be conspiracy theories about this; some will say that there just has to be more to this than meets the eye.
B16 leaves behind a mixed legacy. His outspoken stand against the secularization of society was hailed by conservatives in the Catholic Church while derided by those of a more liberal bent. He was praised by some for his handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis which he inherited and which grew to engulf most of Europe on his watch, but some say his response was too little, too late. And just this past year his butler leaked sensitive documents at a time when there was an investigation into the Vatican’s business dealings.
So what say you? Do you think there is more to this than meets the eye? How will it feel to have a new Pope while the old Pope is still alive? Will that work out OK, or will it just be weird? Who would you like to see as the next Pope? B16 will not have a vote in choosing his successor, but over half the cardinals who will choose his successor were appointed by him. How do you feel about that? Are you OK with B16 resigning if he felt he was too frail to carry on, or do you think he should have carried on to the end?