Well, there’s one thing that the Pope just doesn’t do. Resign. As a matter of fact, it has been over 700 years since one dared to do so. Well, scratch that. Today, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced his resignation, catching the Vatican and millions of Catholics worldwide wholly by surprise. He has cited his declining mental and physical health as reasons for the sudden departure.
Common Sense Conspiracy will be delving into this further as the day progresses. There will be plenty of conspiracy theories relating to this resignation. There is the constant scandal that has enveloped the Catholic Church for the better part of this decade, mainly revolving around sexual abuse toward children by priests. Then, there is the famous prophecies that have theorized that Benedict may be the next to last Pope before the antichrist appears. There will be a lot to talk about, and we can’t wait to get started. In the meantime, here is the official statement from Pope Benedict XVI that was released today:
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”
Stay tuned for more analysis as the day progresses. There will be much to discuss, and we are already digging into it right away.