Pope Resigns, Part 2: Love, Criticism, and Puns

The pope’s resignation caused, and is still causing, a flurry of responses across the internet. Some took an in-depth look at the impact his resignation will have on the Catholic Church. Others took the pope’s resignation as an opportunity to make a tangentially related point about Catholicism.

Here are just a few of these responses:

The Life of the Pope and His Legacy

The Associated Press fondly remembers how Benedict was a “friend to Israel.” Great! That’s such an unequivocally good thing!

Elizabeth Drescher writes a characteristically thoughtful yet extremely critical take on the Pope’s legacy. She says that the Catholic church needs “radically new leadership.” Meanwhile, Huffington Post Editor Paul Raushenbush has a more measured take on the pope’s legacy. And Terry Sanderson, the president of the National Secular society, gleefully wonders if Ratzinger’s papacy “fatally undermined the Vatican.” Oh, you wish, Terry. There’s always somebody who thinks that religion is going to go away in twenty years. They haven’t been right so far.

But no matter what you think of Pope Benedict, at least he was eco-friendly. He also was a big proponent of charities.

The Impact of the Pope’s Decision

Doctors are happy the pope stepped down. Indeed, Benedict’s action could help set a model for everyone from future popes to supreme court justices.

David Gibson writes on how Benedict’s retirement is redefining the meaning of the Papacy. This is, after all, an unusual move – part of the reason an ailing John Paul didn’t step down is because he didn’t want to compete with the next pope. Gibson theorizes this move will make the papacy less isolated, and make the process less political. This seems a bit too optimistic to me, but a reporter can dream.

In order to not compete with the next pope, Benedict will live the rest of his days in a quiet monastery. The Vatican’s chief spokesperson said that he would be free to “communicate with the public” as he pleases. Which seems weirdly ominous…

The Next Pope

People are still furiously trying to figure out who will be the new pope.  However, bookies speak louder than journalists, so let’s look at the odds: Francis Arnize of Nigeria has 2:1 and 7:4 odds, depending on who you ask, and Peter Turkson of Ghana has 5:2 and 2:1. So maybe we will see a non-white pope? Possibly?

Catholic Feminist Mary Hunt writes on how the Catholic Church needs to be more inclusive, particularly by allowing women to have a say in the selection of the pope.

Humorous Responses

The Onion writes, “Resigning Pope No Longer Has Strength to Lead Church Backward.”

What was on Benedict’s playlist? Apparently, Muse, Fleet Foxes, and Tupac.

And finally, a collection of Benedict puns.


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