Something more to the Pope’s resignation
Were you surprised by Pope Benedict’s XVI’s sudden news? The rest of the world seemed to be in shock over it. After I had heard the announcement and the media frenzy that swirled around it I knew in the back of my mind there must be something more than what was actually being reported.
It turns out I wasn’t so far off the mark. The pope’s butler stealing sensitive papers to the pontiff and selling them to a publicist, and then making a blockbuster book out of that paperwork, is not sitting real well right now. The butler admitted he did it, and that the reason he did it was to expose all the corruption and evil that was going on inside the Vatican. One such plot was to out a very prominent Catholic newspaper editor.
The Curia is very involved with the way Catholics lives are lived such as churches that are to close, marriage annulments and also in the dealing and decisions of disciplining the ever-growing number of pedophile priests. Ever wonder what happens to the money people give for special masses in church? The missal translations are also decided by a committee in Rome. The donations end up in a Vatican bank which has now also caused a bitter internal debate.
The Cardinals will be voting next month and are openly talking about the much-needed reform that needs to be taken now more than ever after the latest scandal that has been uncovered. It is being said the next pope sure has a mess to clean up.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, a German who retired in 2010 as head of the Vatican’s ecumenical office, was quoted by telling Corriere Della Sera and reported by lignet.com as saying the “Curia must adapt itself to the 21st century and that there needs to be more coordination between the offices, more collegiality and communication and that often the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.”
We have to give credit to the pope though. He did some good things during his reign. The pope insisted on greater financial transparency — the Vatican passed an extremely important European anti-money laundering test last summer. He insisted on a Vatican trial, open to journalists, for the butler who betrayed him. And as cardinal, after priestly sex abuse cases bounced for years among Vatican offices, the former Joseph Ratzinger took them over himself in 2001 as reported by lignet.com. Pope Benedict made it clear there was no place in the priesthood for men who sought out power to newly ordained priests. Benedict warned them against “careerism, the attempt to ‘get ahead,’ to gain a position through the church, to make use of and not to serve.”
Lignet had a chance to interview the Rev. Thomas Reese, also the author of Inside the Vatican, and was quoted as saying, “Who is influential isn’t so much dependent on what your office is or your title but whether you have access to the king, or in this case the pope.”
You may think this is the same with any executive branch, which is true. But in that statement, as in the case of the Vatican, quite a difference.
Reese told Lignet, ”Obama can fire anybody he wants from his cabinet … When you make someone a bishop, you make him a bishop for life. When you make him a cardinal you make him a prince of the church. What do you do with a cardinal [who doesn't work out]? He can’t go to K Street and get a job as a lobbyist.”
Many think that the problems that surround the pope and all the issues that go with his position are not in the “real world.” Try saying that the next time you want an annulment. You’ll be praying to God to get it over with quickly, and painlessly.
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