Thursday, February 03, 2005

Retire the Pope? 

The New York Post (and I also saw a mention of this at The Corner) is saying the Vatican plans to retire future Popes at a certain, given age. (I think Cardinals are asked to submit their resignation at age 75, if I'm not mistaken, but those resignations don't have to be accepted.)

I disagree with this completely. I was just writing, yesterday, about how different it is for the world watching the ailing Pope John Paul II compared to how the world watched Johnny Carson or Ronald Reagan before they passed away. If you retire Popes, you will ignore and never focus upon their end-of-life "passion" -- a "passion" we may all go through one day. If Pope John Paul II had been forced out at 75, or when his health became worse, his suffering would be no different at all, but the world would know no more about it than we knew of Johnny Carson's. There is much to be learned from John Paul II even yet. Let's not shuffle future Popes off to the side so the next generation can ignore end-of-life issues.

Update: Cardinal Angelo Sodano mentions the Pope's conscience with respect to retirement.

Update II: Pope John Paul II was minutes from death.

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