Why I Feel Sorry for the Pop Who Hung Up on God
They had to carry the last guy out of there in a box. Three boxes, in fact. One of the many perks to being Pope is the way that they don’t simply bury you in one coffin. You get three, your body encased in the smallest as if you’re one of those Russian matryoshka dolls waiting to get sucked up to the kingdom in the clouds. It’s not like Judaism where everyone gets the same cheap pine one.
Nope, they do things properly in Catholicism. Or did, until the most conservative Pope of modern times decided it was time for him to smash the mold. This time around, Benedict XVI will be walking out of there as the first Pope in 600 years to resign. He was elected as God’s representative on Earth—a human tin can at the end of a string through which The Great I Am could communicate just how much gays offended him. Now, the Pope is resigning. Effectively, he has hung up the phone on God. That takes balls. Real balls.
How will his reign be remembered? The short answer is that, bar this final grand gesture, it won’t. Benedict arrived, and like God he saw that it was good, and, like God, he therefore decided to leave well enough alone. Went back to his books. Tried to pretend like all this stuff wasn’t happening around him. Naturally, no one elects popes on modernizing platforms. They may be “progressive,” but that’s only because they’re progressing toward approximately 1831. Still, given the signs of the times bursting like mortars around him, this guy could at least have made some speeches about change—taken a leaf out of Barry O’s book and just bifurcate appearance and reality.