Politics Magazine

Octogenarian Retires

Posted on the 22 February 2013 by Erictheblue

Pope I haven't relieved myself on the subject of the pope's early retirement.  What's surprising to me is that so many people seem to care.  It reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad on the occasion of John Lennon's death.  I thought it was "important," he did not, and, sensing that he was getting the better of the argument, I resorted to a dubious strategy: the querulous appeal to public opinion.  I said that if enough people think it's an important event, then it is necessarily an important event.  He's a physicist and his answer to that was that you cannot decide the truth of a question by putting it to a vote.

Anyway.  Octogenarian calls it a career!  Big deal.  Apparently he has stacked the college of cardinals, or whatever you call that school of elderly bachelors who dress up in robes and funny hats and use smoke signals to alert the waiting world that they've selected the next pope, with like-minded reactionaries, so there is little chance of anything changing. 

I find, however, that I agree with some people who appear to care rather a lot.  Here is Jane Kramer, an evident Catholic, on "what the pope can pray for."  (In retirement, he plans to live a life of prayer.)  She hopes he will gain enlightenment on the meaning of "deviant," a word that he seems to have become fond of in his former role as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a part of the Church bureaucracy for which Kramer provides this helpful gloss:  "formerly known as the Inquisition."  The pope has applied the term to nuns who want to serve the poor and a liberation theologian who declared himself "Marxist as Luke."  Kramer suggests the term should be reserved for Holocaust-denying cardinals and bishops who don't call the cops when priests are buggering young children. 

I only wish she had worked into her essay how his artificial pacemaker has permitted him, in the ninth decade of life, to carry on about the evils of technology.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog