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The Pope Tosses in the Towel

So, the Pope is giving up his position in the church and going to live his life in peace and quiet seclusion. His plan? To serve the Church through secluded prayer and meditation. The first pope to relinquish the position in 600 years, Pope Benedict XVI is 85, and no longer has the strength to lead the church. Understandable, at 85. Pope Benedict XVI, who is the oldest pope for more than a century, was born in 1927 into a traditional farming family in Bavaria, Germany, his father was a policeman. Perhaps the blow to his head that preceded the resignation was a wakeup call for retirement. After all, service until death seems pretty severe, but surely he knew of this caveat when his “hat” was in the ring.

I wonder, what has changed for the ex-Pope in the past eight years? After all, he was elected in 2005, and was feeling good enough to accept the responsibility. So, what happened?

According to a report in La Repubblica, there was quite a scandal: they allege, “The Pope resigned in part because of a report which claims gay Vatican prelates are being blackmailed by a network of male prostitutes”.

WOW. Well… I can’t personally back that… up, but similar “adulterous” scandals are virulent throughout the Vatican community… The Pope is definitely way too tired to fight these battles. He can leave the damage control to his predecessor… Defending this situation – these situations – would be exhausting for a young person – and just not how any person would want to end his lifelong endeavors.

I’m sure the fact that Donatella Versace dedicated a menswear line to him, doesn’t really mean the ex-popes live – in BFF- trusted (ex) secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein (who will also be head of the new Pope’s household as well) is homosexual. But the chatter is cacophonous.

Even with Pope Benedict XVI (formally known as Joseph Ratzinger) stepping down, the Catholic Church holds little hope in ending high-profile pedophile scandals. The now Pope Emeritus is much more known for his intellectual and theological talents than administrative skills. He pledges obedience to the next Pope…

Hmmmm… How’ bout the elephant in that room? What must be happening to the faith of Catholics these days? After all, these are the main men who are being exposed. The victims are real people whose lives have been unalterably affected by the actions of these men in charge. Humiliation must be the feeling shared by all with every secret revealed. What do YOU do when you feel humiliated? What does it mean when the Pope throws in the towel, and recedes into seclusion for prayer and meditation? Draw your own conclusions.

The question becomes how to survive this derangement of a religion held in such high regard? Well, the higher you are, the harder you fall… I wonder if the laws of physics will apply to the Catholic religion as we know it today?

Let’s see how the new Pope handles the pressure. He has many issues to deal with- and it seems he will perhaps, bring a bit of humility to the Catholic Church. He begins his voyage as pope with the hope to be successful in spreading the gospel, creating a brotherhood and mutual trust- engaging people to pray for each other and the whole world. Welcome Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio. No more public bus riding, apartment living, cooking for yourself… Have at it, Pope Francis, this world needs some divine guidance.

Survival in these trying times? It seems simple to me. Just realize that humans are fallible, spiritual warfare is always on, if evil can derail a person from the path to God by devaluing their religion, it will. Always resist the temptation to allow negative ideas to strip you of your faith. Remember that your faith is personal, as is your relationship with God. No religious sect can ruin your personal relationship with God unless you allow it. We all have the armor; we just need to WEAR IT.

By:  Lynn Falcone

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