Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of the month due to his inability to perform duties because of failing “body and mind.” He is 85 years old and was elected Pope in 2005. The last time a Pope resigned was in 1415.
The announcement was a shock, to say the least. With all the secrecy of the Vatican, nobody can be truly sure the reason. At such an advanced age and this being such an unprecedented move, it must be something truly serious. It’s not implausible to suspect something like signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia triggered the resignation. Whether it was his own volition or the urging of those around him has not been stated.
What’s certain is his papacy was marred by several sexual abuse scandals and a push toward orthodoxy, including a campaign against condom prevention and any kind of birth control. Even nuns on a mission to serve the poor were chastised because of their outspoken attitude toward women’s rights. This, too, could be a contributing factor to his resignation, if we delve into the realm of conspiracy theories.
Something else that’s certain, this will trigger a spike in Dan Brown’s books and movies, and maybe even inspire a new novel by the
Davinci Code author. Working title: Forgotten Communion.
What, too soon?